People and places

This dashboard includes demographic data that describes the characteristics of the Six Cities Region's population in 2021 and how it changed between 2011 and 2021. 

Development of this dataset will explore ways to integrate planning for infrastructure with a better understanding of changing demographic characteristics to reveal where infrastructure investment could better respond to local needs, for example local school places. It will also explore other ways to measure elements such as the walkability of places and the quality and usage characteristics of new and existing places that the community enjoys; that they consider great. This will occur in collaboration with stakeholders such as Transport for NSW, Department of Planning and Environment, councils and the community and may include data about walking to school, the number, type and proximity of attractions available within a centre and the perceived quality of places.

Population growth


During the decade to 2021 the population of the Six Cities Region grew by 14%. This growth was shared across all Cities with the Western Parkland City and the Central River City experiencing the fastest growth rate at 20% relative to the existing population in those cities.

Age structure


The population of each City has a unique age profile. Across the Six City Region, people in their 30s make up the highest percentages.

Of young people aged less than 20, the Western Parkland City has the highest population share of any of the cities. In contrast, the Eastern Harbour City and the Central River City have the largest share of people in their 20s and 30s. The Central River City has the highest share of population in the young family age groups, while the Central Coast City has the highest share of older people aged 70 and above.


In Six Cities Region the number of people aged over 65 years increased by 40% between 2011 and 2021. In that time, the proportion of people aged 70-79 and over 85 saw the largest increase.



In 2021, 36% of people in the Six Cities Region were born overseas. 

In both the Central River City and the Eastern Harbour City, the number of people born overseas was above the average for the Six Cities Region at 49% and 41%. In contrast, only 12% of Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle City residents were born overseas.

Weekly household income


In the Six Cities Region, 50% of households have an income less than $2,000 per week. 

In the Central Coast City and Illawarra-Shoalhaven City, the proportion of households with an income less than $2,000 per week is 61%. In comparison, the proportion for the Eastern Harbour City is 42%, the Central River City proportion is 51%, the Western Parkland City proportion is 54% and the proportion of households with an income less than $2,000 per week for the Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle City is 58%.

Severe disability 


In 2021 people with a severe disability made up 5.8% of the population of the Six Cities Region

The highest proportion of people with a severe disability lived in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven City (7.5%) and the Central Coast City (7.4%), compared with 4.3% in the Eastern Harbour City.

Volunteer work


The rate of volunteering varies among the Cities. There was a lower than average share of residents from the Western Parkland City and the Central River City who volunteer at 9% and 10% respectively. This may be associated with the lower than average number of people in these cities aged between 65-85.

Assistance provided


Across the Six Cities Region in 2021, 12% of people aged over 15 provided unpaid care or assistance. This assistance was provided to family members or others because of a disability, long term illness or problems related to old age.

Percentage of dwellings with 15 minute access to open space 


Travel mode to work


Across the Six Cities Region, 3% of people walked and 0.4% cycled to work in 2021. 

In 2021 most people in Six Cities Region travel to work by car (48%), except in the Eastern Harbour City where the majority of people worked at home (57%). Working from home had the largest increase of all responses, which is likely due to the pandemic restrictions limiting people’s ability to attend their place of work on Census day Tuesday 10 August, 2021.