The population of New South Wales is projected to grow to 11.5 million by 2061, up from 8.2 million today. Our population will be older on average, with one quarter of the NSW population aged 65 or over by 2061, compared to 17 per cent today. The fertility rate is expected to structurally decline into the future, reflecting the trend towards having a smaller number of children later in life. We will also be living longer and spending more years in good health. As the fertility rate declines, migration will become increasingly important for population growth and to slow the ageing of our population. 

NSW population by age group

In 2061, 25 per cent of the population will be aged 65 or over, up from 17 per cent today.

Source: ABS 3101.0; NSW Treasury.

Proportional contribution of natural increase and net migration to population growth


Over the next 40 years, 40 per cent of population growth is expected to come from natural increase and 60 per cent from net migration on average.

Source: ABS 3101.0; NSW Treasury.

By 2061


Illustration of a column graph increasing along the x axis

An additional


people will be living in NSW



Illustration of eight people



of NSW's residents will be 65 or older



Illustration of two people with arms over each others shoulders

There will be

2.4 people

of traditional working age to support each person aged 65 and over


Insights and opportunities


  • Over the period to 2061 the NSW population is projected to grow by an annual average of 0.8 per cent.  
  • Around 40 per cent of this growth will come from natural increase (births minus deaths) and the other 60 per cent will come from net migration.  
  • We will be living longer and spending more years in good health, allowing us to continue to participate in the workforce later in life.  
  • Migration will become increasingly important for population growth and can help to slow the ageing of the population.  


Last updated: 07/06/2021