Inner West Independent

Inner West population growth stalling through COVID-19

The Inner West has grown 7 per cent in its population over five years. Photo: Creative Commons.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed that the Inner West population has grown 7 per cent in the past 5 years. 

Up to June 2020, the Inner West registered a population of 201,880, increasing by 13,169 people (7.0%) in the past five years. 

COVID-19 has seemed to stall wider population growth in the past two years, with the Inner West recording its smallest yearly population rise (1,160) since 2006. In the three years prior to COVID-19, there was an average yearly population growth of 3,175 people each year. 

The Inner West was the 14th largest Council population in NSW. Blacktown and Canterbury Bankstown led all NSW Councils in population, with Blacktown just over 2,000 people larger than its Western Sydney neighbours. This is a change from the 2016 Census results when Canterbury Bankstown was recorded as having just under 10,000 more people in its Local Government Area (LGA) than Blacktown. 

The Inner West’s population density maintained its position from the 2016 Census as the 5th most dense LGA in NSW (and in the country) at 5,708 people per square kilometre. Since the merger of Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield Councils in 2016, the Inner West has added 372 people for each square kilometre. In the past 20 years, 1,000 people have been added to every square kilometre of the Inner West. 

Inner West Councillor John Stamolis, who is also a statistician and compiled the Inner West figures, conveyed that the Inner West has a higher population density than Canterbury Bankstown, Bayside Council and Canada Bay Council. 

Inner West Housing

Inner West residents own outright a much lower proportion of their homes (24.7 per cent) than the rest of NSW (32.2 per cent) and Australia (31 per cent). The most common housing tenure is with renters, who account for 43.6 per cent of the Inner West. The proportion of group households in the Inner West is over double that of NSW and Australia, while also has a higher proportion of people living alone than the state and country. 

Children aged 0-4 in the Inner West fell by 9.4 per cent in the Inner West over the past five years. There was also an 18.9 per cent growth in children aged 10-14. 

“The big birth rate we saw in the Inner West some years ago has now slowed and our children are growing up,” Mr Stamolis said via Facebook. 

“This is the first time in over 20 years that the population of those aged 75+ (11,277) in the Inner West has exceeded that of children aged 0-4 (10,730).”

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