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What Does The 2021 Census Tell Us About Our Area?

Recently released data from the latest 2021 Census reveals a lot about the demographics of our area, including who lives here, how they live, what they earn and how much they’re spending on their mortgage.
Census data also gives an insight into how our local area compares to the state and national averages, as well as what trends have shaped the past five years.

We take a deep dive into the data on Randwick and Waverley Council areas to see what it reveals about us.

Who lives in the Randwick Council area?
The Randwick Council stretches from leafy Centennial Park in the north, east to Clovelly and Coogee, and south through Randwick and Maroubra to La Perouse. Also encompassing Kensington, Kingsford, Matraville, Chifley, Malabar and Little Bay, it covers approximately 36 square kilometres.

On Census night last year, there were a total of 134,252 of us residing in the Randwick Council area, with slightly more women (51.3%) than men ((48.7%). This meant our population actually declined in the past five years, with the 2016 Census recording a population of 140,660.

Over half of us (55.7%) were born in Australia, and 1.8% of our population has Indigenous heritage. Those born elsewhere come from countries as diverse as England (5.3%), China (3.1%), Ireland (2.5%), New Zealand (1.9%), and Indonesia (1.5%).

Around a third of Randwick households (33.8%) speak a language other than English at home – a larger proportion than the state (29.5%) or national (24.8%) averages. That language is likely to be Mandarin, Greek, Cantonese, Spanish or French.

46.9% of residents have never married – far more than the state (35.7%) or national (36.4%) averages. Randwick residents are also more likely to identify as being in a de-facto marriage (15.2%) compared to Australia more broadly (11.5%).

While there were 33,700 families with an average of 1.7 children each, people in Randwick are slightly more likely to live alone. Single-person households make up 28.2% of all households in the area, compared to state and national averages of 25.0% and 25.2%.

The average age for someone living in our area was 37 years old – comparable to the NSW state (39) and national (38) average. Interestingly, this has jumped up significantly since the previous census in 2016, when it was 34 years old – a rise of three years: could this be a result of closed borders?

Overall, there are an average of 2.4 people and 1.4 motor vehicles per household.

So, if we were to imagine the profile of an ‘average’ Randwick resident, it would be an unmarried, 37-year-old woman who was born in Australia.

What are our homes really like?
On Census night, there were 59,773 private dwellings in Randwick – a 2% rise from 2016. More than half of all homes (55.5%) in the Randwick Council area are apartments – that’s more than double the state average of 21.7% and over three times the national average of 14.2%.

Meanwhile, just over a quarter (26.8%) of properties were free-standing houses (nationally, it’s 72.3%). Townhouses, terraces or attached dwellings comprised 16.7% of all local dwellings.

In line with this housing make-up, properties in Randwick are also typically smaller than the Aussie average. The median home has an average of 2.6 bedrooms, compared with 3.1 bedrooms nationally – reflecting the dominance of two bedroom units.

Around 20% of properties have four or more bedrooms: far below the state and national averages of around 34%.

Almost half of Randwick properties (46.4%) are rented – many more than both the state average of 32.6% and the national average of 30.6%.

26.9% of properties are owned outright – lower than the state (31.5%) and national (31%) averages.

23.7% of people currently own their property with a mortgage, again lower than the state (32.6%) and national (30.6%) figures.

What else has changed?
Both incomes and housing costs have noticeably increased in Randwick over the past five years.

The good news is that no matter which way you measure it, our personal, family and household incomes are all significantly higher than the state or Australian averages. In fact, household incomes in Randwick rose by more than 20% from $1,916 per week in 2016 to $2,305 per week in 2021. They now sit more than $476 above the weekly state and national averages.

Luckily for renters, we’re not spending any more money on rent. Average weekly rents remained static at $550 per week from 2016 to 2021 – perhaps a sign of fewer residents and increased housing stock?

But mortgage holders saw their median monthly repayments increase from $2,600 to $3,033 – a rise of 16.7% in the same five years.

As of 2021, 18.4% of households with a home loan were paying more than 30% of household income towards their mortgage, putting them in the category of mortgage stress. An even greater proportion of tenants faced rental stress, with around a third (31.9%) facing rental payments greater than 30% of household income.

A spotlight on Waverley
Right next door, Waverley Council covers a far smaller but densely populated area of nine square kilometres that stretches north to Bondi Junction, Queens Park and Waverley and east to Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte.

Waverley has a total of 68,605 residents – up slightly from 2016, when it registered 66,812 residents.

There are slightly more women than men (51.5% v 48.5%), and Waverley’s average age skews a little younger than Randwick’s at 35 years old.

All up, Waverley is home to 32,775 families, with an average of 2.3 people and 1.3 cars per household. More than half (51.1%) of residents had never married, while only 35.8% were married at the time of the Census.

52.9% of residents were born in Australia, with England (8.2%), South Africa (4.5%), New Zealand (2.3%), Brazil (1.8%) and the USA (1.8%), the next most likely birthplaces.

If someone spoke a language other than English at home, it was most likely to be Spanish (2.9%), Russian (1.9%), French (1.9%), Portuguese (1.8%) or Italian (1.6%). However, 73.1% of households used only English – well above the State average of 67.6%.

Incomes, housing and housing costs in Waverley
As might be expected from its location slightly closer to the city, weekly household incomes ($2,854), median monthly mortgage repayments ($3,500) and weekly rents ($670) are all a little higher in Waverley compared to Randwick.

Similar to Randwick, however, is that 49% of properties are rented. This leaves 24.2% of properties owned outright, while 23.8% are owned with a mortgage.

Around two-thirds of properties (64.1%) are apartments, with just 16% freestanding houses and 18.1% semi-detached or townhouses or terrace houses. 41.4% of all dwellings had two bedrooms and only 17.3% had four or more bedrooms.

So, if we were to paint a picture of a typical Waverley resident, she would be a 35-year-old unmarried woman born in Australia who rented a two-bedroom apartment and spoke only English at home.

Source: Director, Auctioneer Adrian Bo