What will NSW look like in 40 years time?
NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet has released the 2021-22 NSW Intergenerational Report, a unique snapshot detailing how NSW will change over the next 40 years and the economic opportunities and challenges the state faces.
The IGR projects that by 2061 the people of NSW can expect to live longer lives, have more flexible career options and enjoy a higher standard of living.
It also identifies a range of challenges, such as a growing and ageing population, which will place greater demands on the state’s resources.
“The way things will look for the people of NSW in 40 years will be vastly different to the world today,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We are very lucky to live in one of the greatest places on the planet, but if we are to ensure the next generation enjoys the same levels of prosperity and opportunity that we have today it is vital we identify future challenges and work to overcome them.”
The 120-page IGR is produced once every five years by NSW Treasury and brings together key demographic, housing, workforce and economic forecasts.
It is designed to assist policy makers and the broader community plan for the future.
Key findings of the 2021-22 NSW Intergenerational Report include:
- Productivity is projected to become the biggest driver of our economic growth, increasing at 1.2 per cent per year over the next 40-years;
- By 2060-61, the fiscal gap is projected to be 2.6 per cent of GSP.
While this is an improvement on the 3.4 per cent fiscal gap (by 2055-56) predicted in the previous 2016 IGR, this largely reflects modelling refinements and updated economic and demographic projections.
- This gap still indicates further action will be needed to avoid the state’s gross debt growing beyond sustainable levels over time;
- The NSW population will expand by around 40 per cent to 11.5-million people in 2061, up from 8.2 million;
- Life expectancy is projected to increase to almost 92 years for women and just over 89 years for men for people born in 2061, with the median age expected to be 44 years compared to 38 today;
- NSW will need up to 1.7-million additional homes by 2061;
- The jobs of the future will require a more highly skilled workforce and will be increasingly concentrated in the social services and business services sectors;
- Average full-time wages will be around $139,000 per year in today’s dollars (compared to $86,000 in 2018-19), with job growth fastest in business services and social services. Healthcare jobs will also increase in line with the ageing population.
Mr Perrottet said NSW had already started preparing for the future through innovative approaches such as the NSW Generations Fund (NGF).
The NGF is a sovereign wealth fund which was created in 2018, to help keep debt at sustainable levels.
“The fund is projected to reach $430 billion in today’s dollars by 2060-61 or equivalent to 31 per cent of Gross State Product,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We have already taken steps such as setting up the NGF to help secure the future for future generations but there is still much more work to be done and the IGR will help ensure we make the right decisions at the right time.”
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