Millennials have become the dominant generation in Sydney, particularly the inner west, the Hills District and the outer west, but Baby Boomers are still entrenched in many of the city’s affluent harbourside locales.
While the Boomers were the largest cohort in 184 of Sydney’s 323 suburbs in 2011, that figure has fallen to 88, while the number of suburbs where Gen Y is the biggest has increased from 33 to 168.
The displacement of the Boomers and Generation X over the past decade is shown by census data – replicated suburb-by-suburb in an interactive map produced by the Herald – that also reveals how parts of the south-west growth corridor house the city’s highest concentration of Generation Zs.
Generation X, born between 1966 and 1980, remains dominant in some parts of Sydney, especially around the north shore and sections of the northern beaches – as well as the Balmain peninsula and Rozelle.
Simon Kuestenmacher of The Demography Group said the statistics told the story of the past 10 years of Generation Y (Millennials) leaving their childhood homes in suburbia and moving to the inner city – except for the places they cannot afford and where there is little new housing.
Suburbs exempt from the Gen Y takeover that are still dominated by the Baby Boomers included Vaucluse, Rose Bay and Bellevue Hill in the eastern suburbs, and Mosman, Hunters Hill, Riverview and Greenwich in the north.
“There are very few Millennials that can compete with Baby Boomers on those prime property prices,” Kuestenmacher said. “They’re great NIMBY councils, they protect the heritage of their suburbs, so they make sure that not enough housing development is occurring in their suburbs.”
Boomers are still the largest cohort in some slices of the inner west; Concord, Five Dock, Croydon and Drummoyne. But large swaths of the inner west where Gen X dominated in 2011 are now Gen Y strongholds, such as Marrickville, Petersham, Stanmore, Leichhardt and Annandale.
The fabric of Haberfield and Summer Hill has changed quickly; Gen X replaced the Boomers as the biggest generation there in 2016, only to be replaced by Gen Y last year.