Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New NSW Population Projections 2006-2036 - New England's projected position

In my first post examining the new projections, New NSW Population Projections 2006-2036 - what do they mean?, I looked at the overall break-up of the numbers between the Sydney region and the rest of the state, then focused on the Sydney numbers because they are so important to the overall projections.

This post looks at the projections from a New England perspective. As with the analysis in the first post, a number of qualifications apply:

  1. Sydney is the Sydney statistical division, a much larger area including the Blue Mountains and Central Coast than the traditional definition of Greater Sydney.
  2. There are some uncertainties in the historical figures because of continuing changes to boundary definitions.
  3. So far as New England is concerned, there will be some slight understatement in the figures because some of New England is included in the vast by area North West regional division used for planning purposes.
  4. The figures are projections, not predictions, although some of the media reporting has in fact tended to treat them as though they are predictions.
  5. Rounding means that some of the cross-totals do not exactly match.

The Overall Position

The following table summarises the New England position within the projections. Again, all figures are in '000.

  1976 1986 1996 2006 2016 2026 2036 Change 2006-36


5,532 6,205 6,816 7,560 8,232 9,066 2,250


3,472 3,881 4,282 4,822 5,395 5,982 1,700
New England                
- Newcastle 381 417 463 518 573 627 676 158
- Rest of Hunter 60 77 91 100 110 120 128 28
-Richmond-Tweed 109 152 201 230 260 289 316 85
- Mid-North Coast 144 207 262 297 331 362 387 90
Northern 175 182 179 180 179 175 168 -12
Total New England 869 1,035 1,196 1,325 1,453 1,573 1,675 350
New England % NSW 17.5 18.7 19.3 19.4 19.2 19.1 18.5 15.7


To set these figures in perspective, at the turn of the twentieth century, around one person in four in NSW lived in New England. Within New England, while Newcastle was by far the largest centre, there was a rough balance between the inland and coastal populations outside Newcastle. 

The twentieth century saw a long term decline in New England's demographic position. This was most marked on the Tablelands. Then over the last quarter of the century, the seachange phenomenon saw rapid growth along the coastal strip that partially redressed the aggregate demographic decline. Within this, the inland areas as a whole continued their relative decline at an accelerating rate.

The projections suggest that these trends will continue. The large inland Northern region is projected to slip from the second largest population to the second smallest, the smallest if the Hunter Valley is taken as a whole. In 1976, New England's strip including Newcastle already held 72.3 per cent of New England's population. This is projected to reach 82.3 per cent in 2036.

Within these broad patterns, each New England region has its own special demographic features. I will look at these in my next post.


Kathy Azwan said...

I'm wondering if you have some statistics on expatriates and their community in New England. Popular spots for expats can show what they prefer and most probably with the good governance of New England, they'll opt to reside and go for Australian nationality thus enhancing New England's cultural pot.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Kathy - Kaftans for all!

There are two versions of expats.

First, New Englanders living outside New England. If we include their children, I would guess that there are well over a million, probably at least one for every present New England resident.

Two, and your focus, are overseas migrants/long term residents living in New England. There are no stats here, although we could calculate rough estimates from the census working on specific areas and then totalling.

New England's overseas community is small as compared to, say, Sydney. There are regional migration programs, but I am not sure how effective they are.