Skip to main content
A family with children having a picnic

Insights and Demography

Population Insights

The NSW population returned to growth in 2021-22 after a flat period earlier in the pandemic.

Over the 12 months to 30 June 2022:

  • The NSW population grew by 59,800 (0.74%) to reach 8.15 million.
  • Almost one in 3 people in Australia lived in NSW.
  • Births outnumbered deaths by 40,378 (100,314 births and 59,936 deaths).
  • International borders reopened and 62,213 more people arrived in NSW from overseas than those who left.
  • Record net interstate migration saw 43,451 more people leave NSW for other states or territories than arrived.

What the population will look like in the future

The  2022 NSW Population Projections  reflect changes we have seen in population dynamics up until the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The effect of border closures is already apparent, and the full effect of COVID-19 on population change in NSW will not appear in official statistics for some time. Australia's international borders have re-opened, and overseas migration is approaching pre-pandemic levels. Ongoing economic uncertainty may affect how many babies are born and how many people move in and out of the state. Although vaccination levels are high, experts have predicted COVID-19-related deaths to rise.

The projections show what we expect to happen, with slower growth than previously projected before the pandemic.

Effect of COVID-19 on NSW population

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for July 2020 to June 2022 tells us how 2 years of living with COVID-19 has affected NSW’s population.

Comparison of recent trends with projection assumptions

The assumptions for the 2022 NSW Population Projections were set in late 2021, based on the most up-to-date data available at the time on births, deaths and migration. Compared with these projection assumptions, population data released over the past 12 months has revealed:

  • Net overseas migration gain in 2021-22 was larger than assumed
  • Net interstate migration loss in 2021-22 was larger than assumed
  • Natural change in 2021-22 was similar to that assumed in the projections.

The Department will take this information and other forthcoming data releases into account as the projection assumptions are reviewed over the coming year.