New South Wales

New South Wales is situated on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, South Australia to the west and surrounds the whole of the Australian Capital Territory and it accounts for 10% percent of the total land area of Australia (800 642 km2).

The estimated population of New South Wales is 7.5 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population live in the Greater Sydney area. New South Wales' capital city is Sydney, which is also the nation's most populous city, has a population of 4,757,00. The other major residential areas are Newcastle with a population of 546,000, the Central Coast area with 321,000 and Wollongong with 207,000.


Sydney surrounds one of the world’s largest natural harbours. Its residents are known as "Sydneysiders" and constitute the most multicultural city in Australia and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. There are more than 250 different languages spoken in Sydney.

Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance, manufacturing, and tourism. Its gross regional product was $337 billion in 2013 making it a larger economy than countries such as Denmark, Singapore, and Hong Kong. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Asia Pacific’s leading financial hub. Millions of tourists come to Sydney each year to see the city's landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach and the Sydney Opera House.


Sydney has a humid subtropical climate with warm, sometimes hot summers and mild winters, with rainfall spread throughout the year. The weather is moderated by proximity to the ocean, and more extreme temperatures are recorded in the inland western suburbs. The warmest months are January and February, with an average temperature 23°C.

In winter, temperatures rarely drop below 5 °C in coastal areas. The coldest month is July, with an average range of 13°C. Rainfall is fairly evenly spread through the year with rain falling on an average of 134 days a year.


There are six public universities based in Sydney: the University of Sydney, the University of Technology, the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, the University of Western Sydney and the Australian Catholic University. 5.2% of residents of Sydney are attending a university and the most common fields of tertiary qualification are commerce (22.8%), engineering (13.4%), society and culture (10.8%), health (7.8%), and education (6.6%).

Sydney has public, denominational, and independent schools. There are 935 public preschool, primary, and secondary schools in Sydney that are administered by the New South Wales Department of Education. 14 of the 17 selective secondary schools in New South Wales are based in Sydney. Public vocational education and training in Sydney is run by TAFE New South Wales.


There are more than 1.5 million dwellings in Sydney including 940,000 detached houses and 180,000 semi-detached terrace houses. Units or apartments make up 25.8% of Sydney's dwellings. Whilst terrace houses are common in the inner city areas it is detached houses that dominate the landscape in the outer suburbs. Public housing in Sydney is managed by the Government of New South Wales.

The Sydney metropolitan area median property price was $760,000 in December 2014. For more market information including prices on specific suburbs (including regional areas), advice on purchasing property and properties for sale visit the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) website.

There is also a wide range of rental options available in Sydney – from basic units to luxury mansions, short or long term and furnished or unfurnished. The median rent for a three bedroom house in the Sydney metropolitan area was approximately $850 per week in March 2015.

International transport links

Sydney Airport is one of New South Wales’ most important pieces of infrastructure. It is the international gateway and an essential part of the transport network connecting Sydney to 47 international, 24 domestic interstate and 23 regional destinations (at 31 December 2013). Sydney Airport is conveniently located only 8 kilometres from the city centre and less than 10 kilometres from major tourist attractions.

Sydney Airport is also a major employer in NSW and makes a significant contribution to the local and national economies, generating or facilitating $27.6 billion in economic activity a year. This contribution is equivalent to six per cent of the NSW economy and translates into more than 49,930 direct jobs and a further 234,700 jobs in freight and tourism for the people of Sydney.


Since the 1970s, New South Wales has undergone an increasingly rapid economic and social transformation. Old industries such as steel and shipbuilding have largely disappeared although agriculture remains important. New industries such as information technology and financial services are largely centred in Sydney and have risen to take their place with many companies having their Australian headquarters in Sydney. Coal and related products are the state's biggest export. Its value to the state's economy is over A$5 billion, accounting for about 19% of all exports from NSW.

Tourism has also become important, with Sydney as its centre, also stimulating growth on the North Coast, around Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay. Tourism is worth over $25.1 billion to the New South Wales economy and employs 7.1% of the workforce.

Business opportunities

There has never been a better time to start a new business in New South Wales. In 2013-14 $3.2 billion in business investment was secured through 143 investment projects in NSW. Situated on the doorstep of Asia, Australia's largest economy is a regional powerhouse in one of the most stable political and regulatory environments in the world. Most importantly, its rich industry diversity has been instrumental in achieving a staggering 23 years of uninterrupted growth, giving it a AAA sovereign credit rating from global agencies Standard & Poor's and Moody's.

NSW is a regional hub for financial and banking services as well as the information and communications technology sector, placing it front and centre of the digital technologies that will shape the global economy of the future.

Government and private sector investment are also placing the state at the forefront of research and development in the biotechnology and renewable energy sectors. Outside of Sydney, regional NSW offers an abundance of opportunities in sectors such as mining and agribusiness and food, making it a particularly attractive place to do business due to its diverse range of industries and well-serviced locations.

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