Penrith City CouncilPopulation forecast
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Penrith City

Drivers of population change

Development history

Penrith City is located in Sydney’s outer western suburbs, between 35 and 55 kilometres west of the Sydney GPO. The City encompasses a land area of 407 square kilometres, of which around 80% is rural and rural-residential. The rural and rural residential land uses are concentrated in the south and north, with the residential population concentrated in a central band running east west along the major rail and road corridors between metropolitan Sydney and the Blue Mountains. In the post war era, and particularly in the last 40 years, the City has catered for a significant proportion of Sydney’s demand for new housing on the urban fringe. While development has slowed somewhat in recent years, an increase in residential development is expected as several large release areas have been identified for urban development over the next 10-20 years.

Migration patterns

Penrith City has increased significantly in population since the Second World War. In 1950, the population of the City was 14,770 with most population focussed around Penrith and St Marys. By 1971, the City’s population had reached 58,000 and by 1981, 108,700. This enormous growth effectively ‘filled in’ the gaps between settlements along the main western railway. The primary housing market role that the City played in this period was to provide home owning opportunities for families and prospective families from areas to the east as well as migrants from overseas. This role is expected to continue to some extent with additional areas of the City being identified for future urban development over the next twenty years. This growth is to be focussed in release areas such Penrith Lakes, the St Marys Release Area (former ADI site), Glenmore Park, Caddens Release Area as well as in existing centres such as Penrith, St Marys and Kingswood. Demand for residential development in the City’s growth areas will come both from new households forming in the established areas of Penrith City as well as neighbouring areas to the east and overseas.

Historical migration flows, Penrith City, 2006-2011
Historical migration flows, Penrith City, 2006-2011
'Overseas' refers to arrivals only.

Population and household forecasts, 2011 to 2036, prepared by .id the population experts, October 2015.

Note: The migration flows depicted above are historical and do not represent future or forecast migration flows or subsequent council boundary changes. The arrows represent migration flows to the area as a whole and do not indicate an origin or destination for any specific localities within the area. Overseas flow shows overseas arrivals only, based on answers to the census question “where did the person usually live 5-years ago.

Housing role and function

With the variety of residential areas, natural characteristics and period of development, different areas within Penrith City have developed different roles within the housing market. Many established areas such as St Clair, South Penrith and Regentville are experiencing significant net loss of persons in their 20s. These are the children of families that settled in these areas in the 1970s and 1980s and are now at the stage where they are looking to establish new households elsewhere. Many of these new households would be heading to growth suburbs such as the Caddens and St Marys Release Areas and Penrith Lakes. Major centres such as Penrith, Werrington, Kingswood and St Marys by contrast attract young adults who are seeking access to employment, education and transport. These areas also have a much larger stock of medium density and rental stock. This is set to continue, particularly in Penrith, where significant amounts of development is expected, mostly higher density dwellings, as the centre develops in line with its status as a regional centre. An example of this is the Thornton Estate, of which the final stages are expected to consist of higher density apartment style dwellings (Thornton Central). The success of this development will pave the way for other significant higher density projects within the city centre. Significant densities are also expected with the ongoing development of the Werrington Education, Living and Learning Precinct in Werrington and Kingswood. In contrast the major release areas of the City are expected to attract a range of markets, although still principally young families. This includes areas such as Glenmore Park (Stage 2), Caddens, Jordan Springs, the St Marys Release Area and Claremont Meadows (Stage 2). These developments, particularly Jordan Springs and Glenmore Park (Stage 2) are developing with a range of densities, including apartments (likely to appeal to smaller households, younger adults and older couples downsizing), as well as larger plan family housing. Penrith Lakes is expected to attract a slightly older family market with adults in their 30s and 40s. This variety of function and role of the small areas in Penrith City means that population outcomes differ significantly across the LGA.

Housing supply

There are also significant differences in the supply of residential property within the City which will also have a major influence in structuring different population and household futures over the next five to twenty years. Large new 'greenfield' opportunities have been identified in the growth areas. These are predominantly located in Caddens and St Marys Release Areas, Claremont Meadows, Penrith Lakes and Glenmore Park. In relation to Penrith Lakes, please note that the number of dwellings allocated within these forecasts to this area is an assumption only, and that the Penrith Lakes scheme has yet to be finalised. There are also significant redevelopment opportunities Significant in-fill development opportunities in Penrith and St Marys are also expected to contribute significant numbers of new higher density dwellings as the centres of these localities develop. By contrast, established suburbs such as Emu Heights, Erskine Park, Leonay, Llandilo, North St Marys, Werrington Downs, South Penrith and Regentville are expected to provide relatively low numbers of new dwellings over the forecast period.

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