THE latest population figures show that, with solid growth, Bathurst is on track to have more than 50,000 residents living in the city by 2036.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its data on regional population growth in April, which provided resident population data for areas of Australia and focused on population change from the previous year.
In 2016, the estimated population of the Bathurst Regional local government area (LGA) was 42,389.
This rose by 1.2 per cent to an estimated 42,900.
In the last 10 years, the LGA’s population has grown by 5628 people.
Mayor Graeme Hanger said the figure was consistent with previous years.
“These ABS figures are consistent with the average popular growth rate of 1.4 per cent a year, which is sitting below our average annual economic growth of 2.2 per cent, which means the economy is keeping pace with population growth,” he said.
“Given the annual average growth rate and the forecasting by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, we expect the population will reach 55,250 by 2036.”
The ABS also detailed the population change components for the Bathurst Regional LGA.
There was a net natural increase of 124 people, net internal migration of 212 people and net overseas migration of 175 people.
Cr Hanger said the growth is evidence of the great opportunities Bathurst presents to people looking to relocate.
”The Bathurst region is seen as an ideal spot for relocation because of the services and facilities on offer, including medical, education and employment opportunities,” Cr Hanger said.
As has been the case for more than a decade, Bathurst’s population remains slightly higher than neighbouring Orange, which in 2017 had an estimated population of 41,636 people, a growth of 0.6 per cent from the previous year.
In 10 years, Orange’s population has grown by 4835 people.
Oberon has also seen 0.6 per cent growth and now has an estimated population of 5430 people.
The Western Plains Regional LGA, which encompasses Dubbo and Wellington, had impressive growth.
Doing slightly better than Bathurst, it saw growth of 1.3 per cent in 2017 to have an estimated population of 52,084.