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Appendix 1 Community Profile

[This is the text from the above mentioned section of the RWA Redfern-Waterloo Built Environment Plan (Stage One) August 2006. Links to maps and illustrations have been included and details of the file size of the link also added to allow for easy navigation. - REDWatch]

The Redfern-Waterloo area has a population of 19,194. Redfern and Waterloo are the most densely populated with a population of 11,202 and 5,202 respectively, followed by Darlington and Eveleigh. There are approximately 759 Aboriginal people living in the area, representing 3.9 percent of the total population. Key socio-economic characteristics of the Redfern and Waterloo population are summarised below based on 2001 Australian Bureau of Statistics census data.


  • Waterloo has an older age profile than Redfern and Sydney generally. The median age for Waterloo is 45 years, while for Redfern the median age is 35, which reflects Sydney’s median age of 34. Within Waterloo 37 percent of residents are aged 55 and over.
  • Waterloo has a very high proportion of single parent families, comprising 46 percent of all families, compared to Redfern (19 percent) and Sydney (15 percent).
  • Redfern and Waterloo have smaller households than Sydney generally. People living alone appear at twice the rate in Redfern and three times the rate in Waterloo than for the Sydney region.
  • Redfern and Waterloo have markedly higher proportions of overseas born residents than Sydney as a whole. Within Redfern 37 percent of the population are overseas born, while in Waterloo the figure is 43 percent.


  • Waterloo has a very high proportion of people over 15 years of age not in the labour force (59 percent) and persons employed at less than half the rate of Redfern and Sydney as a whole. In Redfern the proportion of people not in the labour force (30 percent) is similar to Sydney. Unemployment in Redfern and Waterloo (7.6 percent in Redfern and 16.6 percent in Waterloo), was higher than the state average (7.2 percent).
  • • In the Redfern-Waterloo operational area, the number of people employed in the area has decreased from 15,207 in 1981 to 12,502 in 2001.


  • Within Waterloo the majority of households (56 percent) have a weekly income less than $400, of these, 25 percent have less than $200 per week. The income levels for Redfern reflect the gentrification process with concentrations of high and low income households. Within Redfern 28.9 percent of households have a weekly income of less than $400 and 39.2 percent of households earn $1,000 or more.

Housing Tenure

  • Rental accommodation dominates tenure type for Redfern (55 percent) and Waterloo (79.6 percent), unlike Sydney as a whole where 29 percent of dwellings are rented and 62.7 percent of dwellings are either owned or purchased.
  • Within Waterloo, 92 percent of all housing is public housing, while in Redfern there is considerably less public housing at 29 percent.

Housing Type

  • Redfern and Waterloo have very low proportions of free-standing dwellings compared to Sydney as a whole. Redfern has more semi-detached dwellings (31.8 percent) than Waterloo, which has predominantly flats and units (75.2 percent).