What Can The 2021 Census Tell Us About Sydney’s Inner City And Inner West?

August 12th, 2022 - by Brad Gillespie

In August 2021, we all completed the Census, run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

One year on, some of the data has been released, and it paints an interesting picture of who we are, how we live and how we’re changing, as well as how we compare with the rest of NSW and Australia - economically, socially and culturally.

A snapshot of Erskineville and Alexandria

When we filled out the Census on 10 August 2021, there were a total of 19,126 of us living in the two suburbs, split slightly in favour of men (51.7% men vs 48.3% women).

Most of us (59.6%) were born in Australia, and 1.6% of our population had Indigenous heritage. The highest percentage of people born elsewhere came from England (6.5%), New Zealand (3.2%), China (3%), the USA (1.6%) and Ireland (1.1%).

There were over five thousand families in our area (5,069 to be precise, comprising 56.1% of the population) who had an average of 1.5 children.

Overall, there was an average of exactly two people and one motor vehicle per household.

How does our area’s population compare to NSW and Australia?

  • We’re younger. Alexandria and Erskineville had an average age of 34, which is younger than both the NSW (39 years) and Australian (38 years) averages.
  • We are far less likely to be married. Only 26.8% of people in these two suburbs were married, compared to a state average of 47.3% and a national average of 46.5%.
  • We’re more likely to be enrolled in tertiary education. Unsurprisingly, given our proximity to several universities and TAFE campuses, we outpace the state (23.8%) and national (23.3%) averages for tertiary education with 41.3% of people currently attending a tertiary institution (either vocational or university).
  • One in four of us speak a language other than English at home. 25.7% of us speak a language other than English at home, which is lower than the NSW state average but slightly higher than the national average. Chances are it’s Mandarin, Spanish, Cantonese, French or Portuguese.
  • Generally, we earn a good income. Our median weekly personal income was twice the state and national average, and our family and household income also far exceeded the NSW and Australian averages.

What does the Census tell us about Erskineville and Alexandria property?

  • Our homes are much less likely to be freestanding houses. Only 3.5% of properties in Alexandria and Erskineville are free-standing houses (nationally, it’s 72.3%). 31.8% are townhouses, terraces or attached dwellings, which is twice the national or state average, and a massive 63.8% are flats or apartments. That’s three times the state and four times the national average.
  • Our properties are a lot smaller than the Aussie average. Properties in our area tend to be smaller, with an average of two bedrooms per dwelling, compared with 3.1 nationally.
  • We’re more likely to be paying off a mortgage than owning our home outright. In Alexandria and Erskineville, only 12.6% of properties are owned outright, which is half as much as the state (31.5%) and national (31%) averages. 33.2% of people currently own their property with a mortgage, which is almost the same as the state and national figures.
  • Over half of all dwellings are rented. In Alexandria and Erskineville 52.8% of all dwellings are rented. That’s well above the state average of 32.6% and the national average of 30.6%.

What has changed since the Census in 2011 or 2016?

You don’t have to be a local to know that Alexandria and Erskineville have undergone huge changes over the past decade. Here’s how.

  • Our population is growing… fast. In 2011, 13,898 people were living in our area. By 2016, our population was 16,233, and in 2021 it was 19,126. That means we grew by 17.8% and gained 2,893 people in the past five years, and grew by 5,228 or 37.6% over the past decade.
  • The number of homes has also grown. 10 years ago there were 7,379 dwellings in Alexandria and Erskineville, and five years ago, there were 8,296. By 2021, the number of dwellings had increased to 10,427. That’s a 10-year rise of 41.3% and a five-year increase of 25.7% in the number of dwellings.

And the five-year data reveals other changes that impact the property market too:

  • We’ve become wealthier. The average household income in our area has grown from $2,447 per week to $2,825 per week since 2016 - an increase of $378 per week or 15.4%.
  • Weekly rents have decreased. Despite having more to spend, the average rent has actually fallen, decreasing by just $9 per week from $600 per week in 2016 to $591 per week in 2021.
  • Median mortgage repayments have gone up. In 2016, the median monthly mortgage repayment in Alexandria and Erskineville was $2,500. Five years later it had risen by $252 to $2,752, an increase of 10.1%.

More detailed data, including employment statistics from the 2021 Census will be released in October.

Want more?

If you’d like to know more about our local property market or need help buying or selling a home, get in touch.