The surprising Sydney suburb with the most singles

The most recent census, conducted by the Bureau of Statistics in August 2021, identified married and de facto couples, as well as “non-married” people, which included people living alone, with other family members, and in shared accommodation.

Sydney the lowest city in the single household rankings

The proportion of single-person households in Sydney increased from 22.6 per cent to 23.2 per cent in the decade to 2021. This trend is consistent with an aging population as a significant proportion of single households are occupied by elderly people.

However, the proportion of single households in Sydney is well below the national figure and lower than in any other capital city. Single households were most prevalent in Hobart and Adelaide – 27.7 percent each.

One reason single-person households are less common in Sydney is the high cost of living, particularly housing costs, which makes it harder for people to live alone compared to most other parts of the country.

Macquarie University demographer Professor Nick Parr said another factor in the lower rate of living alone is the high number of relatively young new migrants settling in Sydney.

“Compared to the national pattern, Sydney has a lower proportion in these older age groups,” he said.

The national proportion of single-person households rose to over a quarter for the first time in the 2021 census (25.6), up from 24.3 percent a decade earlier.

Downtown life mixed with suburbs draws singles to Strathfield

Strathfield-based 26-year-old Oliver Rich moved from his childhood home to a home in the innerwest suburbs and became part of the area’s growing population of singles.

As part of an analysis of the heraldThe number of adults not living with a partner has increased as 48 percent of people ages 15 and older in the Strathfield (East) statistical area lived alone.

Oliver Rich is part of Strathfield's growing single population.

Oliver Rich is part of Strathfield’s growing single population. Credit:Stefan Siewert

After deciding to move away from the family’s North Shore home 10 months ago, Rich said Strathfield approached him as it was the same distance between the city and his relatives.

The suburb was traditionally a family area, but singles like Rich are becoming more common due to the area’s convenience and lifestyle.

“It’s super comfortable. It’s only 15 minutes from the city and there are quite a lot of train stations and they’re in the process of building a subway and it’s getting quite gentrified now,” he said.

“There’s a lot more places to come, like restaurants and cafes, which is good, so it’s a good place.”


Rich said the balance between singles and couples in Strathfield is positive, but it can also make his dating life difficult.

“Where I live is like a combination of both, there’s young people, but there’s also suburbia in a sense that there’s young families and kids, so the dating pool isn’t huge,” he said.

“Also, I’m gay, which makes up about 90 percent of potential people, so it’s a small pool to begin with.”

As a young pro in the social media industry, Rich said online dating apps have become the preferred method of choice for most people his age, making it difficult to find a partner.

“I think the majority of people are online, so much of our lives are online now [and] Dating has moved there too. It’s a perfectly valid way to meet people through a dating app or something,” he said.

“No one goes into a bar and talks to anyone anymore. That’s crazy.”

While modernizing dating has its perks, Rich said a big reason he and others in his area are likely still single is due to the issues of the digital age.

“You can always swipe, there’s always another person coming, so you’re more reluctant to stop and chat with the one person you might like,” he said.


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Callan Tansill

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