Shire population increase – 2011 Census Figures

The changing face of New South Wales was revealed today as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the first results of the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.

The results show that the new Census resident population of New South Wales is 6,917,658, up from 6,549,175 in 2006 – an increase of 5.6 per cent.

The data also shows that the local government area with the biggest growth in New South Wales is Blacktown, which now has 301,097 people up from 271,712 in 2006 – a rise of 10.8 per cent.

The local government area with the highest proportionate increase in New South Wales is Palerang, which grew 16.5 per cent to 14,351 people from 12,313 in 2006.

The good news for the Weddin Shire is, however, even better. The population figures actually showed a small increase. In 2006, the population of the Shire was 3,797 and continuing on in that vein, 2007 saw the population again drop to a figure of 3,775. The same was evident in the 2008 figures that saw a further shrinkage to 3,769. This trend continued for 2009 when the population again diminished, this time to 3,747. The trend for 2010, however, reversed those previous years when the number of Weddenites rose to 3,773. It is no co-incidence that this rise in population coincided with the end of the drought and a return to some semblance of a healthy economy for the local rural producers.

However, the really good news that can be derived from the mass of statistics available on the Census Website is that shire’s population in 2011 was 3801 – which equates to a 7% increase. No doubt this will be good news for those in the shire charged with the responsibility for the formulation of growth and expansion policies over the next few years. The figure of 7% is the best news in a long time and actually reverses well over a decade of declining population.

Another truly encouraging statistic for the Census is that the small growth registered by the shire ranked 74th in the fastest growth category for NSW and 111th in the largest growth column. That leaves the shire well positioned with many of its neighbouring councils recording the following figures in the same two categories – i.e. Cowra on 94 and 97, Young 87 and 94, Bland 100 and 108 and Parkes – with its mining boom – on 79 and 87.

All in all – this is a result that will no doubt please the Weddin Shire Council and will also have a flow-on effect for all the Grenfell businesses. In fact this is the best news that has been officially recognised now for some ten years.

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