CHANGING FACES: The population of Bellingen Local Government Area is getting older.
CHANGING FACES: The population of Bellingen Local Government Area is getting older. Trevor Veale/ The

Change in population a fine balancing act

BELLINGEN Shire Mayor Dominic King sees both opportunity and challenge with the data released from the 2016 Census.

One of the key findings for the local government area was its population was getting older.

Almost a quarter of the population is now aged 65 or over compared to 20% in 2011.

Meanwhile the number of young people had fallen, leaving the shire for education, housing, employment, travel and other lifestyle opportunities.

In 2011, people aged 0-24 made up 29.2% of the shire's population while in 2016 it made up 26.2%.

The median age for people in the Bellingen shire was found to be 49, three years older than in 2011.

Cr King said a review of the council's growth management strategy, shaping future development up to 2026, would be influenced by the release of the latest information.

"'Council has deliberately timed the upcoming review of its growth management strategy to coincide with the release of the Census information,” he said.

Cr King said the community would soon be asked to help shape the direction of Bellingen's future growth and having access to up to date information from the census would be of great value.



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