2018-19 Central Coast Investment Prospectus 2018-19
Gosford aerial showing revitalisation and development of the Central Coast hub

Economic Profile

At a glance

  • Population – 342,047 (Est. June 2018)
  • Median age – 42 years
  • Median personal income $600 per week
  • Median household income $1,258 per week
  • Gross Regional Product (GRP) - $12.73 billion
  • Local jobs* – 126,459
  • Largest industries – Health Care and Social Assistance, Retail, Manufacturing, Construction
  • Local businesses* – 22,480 (2017)
  • Employed residents – 151,521

*NIEIR 2018 (National Institute of Economic and Industry Research) and .id community


The Central Coast population at the time of the 2016 Census was 327,736. This compares with 312,186 in 2011 an increase of 5.0% over the 5 years.

More than 95% of the region’s population lives between the coastal foreshore and the M1 Pacific Motorway that divides the coastal area from the hinterland.

The region is at the centre of the State’s fastest growing corridor from the northern edge of the Sydney Metropolitan area to Newcastle. The projected population along this corridor is estimated to be 1.1 million by 2036.

After a long period of high growth through the 80’s to the mid- 90’s where growth had been running at around 4.0% per year population growth dropped back to 0.91% per year from 2001 to 2006.

The NSW Government’s Central Coast Growth Plan 2036 is aiming at a modest 75,000 over the next 20 years or 3,775 people per year.

Population Graph

population graph

Age Structure

The Median Age has risen from 41 years of age in 2011 to 42 years in 2016 and this compares also with the State Median Age which is now 38 years. Traditionally the Central Coast has an older population although the 2016 Census indicates a growing proportion of people in the under 34 year age group.

Age structure of the Usual Resident Population – 2016

age graph

Source: ABS Census 2016

Household income

Median weekly household income has risen from $1,003 in 2011 to $1,258 in 2016. This is an increase of 25.4% and may indicate a changing demographic as more people with higher incomes move into the region, particularly in the southern areas.

Median monthly mortgage repayments

Median monthly mortgage repayments in 2016 were $1,750 and this compares with $1,820 in 2011. This decline may be due to lower interest rates over the past five years.

Median weekly rent

Median weekly rent however has risen from $270 per week in 2011 to $350 per week in 2016 – an increase of almost 30%.


The estimated total number of people employed on the Central Coast in 2017/18 was 159,121. Of these 126,459 were employed in local jobs. The number of commuters was 33,662.


The number of unemployed people on the Central Coast in June 2016 was 10,098 or 6.7%.


The Central Coast had a commuting population of 33,662 in 2018 - 25.3% - most of whom would prefer to work locally given the opportunity.

The largest employment numbers by industry sector in 2015/16 were:

employment number age graph

Gross Regional Product

The Central Coast’s Gross Regional Product e.g. the wealth of the region generated by businesses, organisations and individuals working in the region, has grown from $11,387 million in 2001 to $12,732 million in 2016 an increase of 11.8% over 15 years.

While the years 2005 to 2012 shown annual declines of up to 1.5% a positive change became noticeable from 2013 and by 2016 growth had picked up to 3.0% on the previous year.

Gross regional product

Building Approvals

The Value of Building Approvals on the Central Coast has been increasing since 2011-12.

Building Approvals on the Central Coast for the period July 2017 to April 2018 was $754.3 million and for the whole of FY 2017 was $814.9 million.

Economic profile - building approval graph vale of building approvals graph
FTE Employment by Industry Sector
FTE employment by industry sector graph