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The City of Greater Geelong had a relatively stable population for much of the 1980s and early 1990s, but has grown strongly in population over the last five to ten years on the back of employment growth in service industries, as well as increased demand in coastal resort areas.
Population growth has been most heavily concentrated in both suburban Geelong (Highton, St Albans Park), as well as Lara and Leopold and on the Bellarine Peninsula (Clifton Springs, Ocean Grove). The local employment growth in services has been boosted by external population growth pressures. They include the traditional flow of population from the surrounding rural areas and smaller towns, which is a result of children finishing their secondary schooling and people leaving farming areas as a result of efficiencies in the agricultural industries. The second source is more distant, which includes persons from overseas and the outward flow of population from Melbourne, particularly to the resort areas. Some areas also gain from Geelong as a result of departures, such as Golden Plains Shire. This is generally made up of younger family households.
With the progressive residential development of the City over a century and a half, the large size of the municipality, the availability of land for development and the broad range of land uses, areas have developed different roles within the housing market. Geelong, Geelong West and to a lesser extent Waurn Ponds, attract a large number of persons in their late teens and early twenties, which is a reflection on the large amount of affordable rental accommodation and being close to significant retail services or tertiary education. Some areas, such as Waurn Ponds and Wandana Heights, are also attractive to mature families looking to upgrade to their second and third home. Areas such as St Albans Park, Lara and Leopold have had significant residential development in more recent years and are attractive to couples and families seeking new housing opportunities. The more rural parts of the City are also attractive to families seeking a rural environment and a new lifestyle. These areas include Rural Bellarine Peninsula and Rural North. The coastal resort areas attract both family households as well as retirees. Portarlington and St Leonards in particular attract large numbers of retirees and older adults. This variety of function and role of the small areas in the City of Greater Geelong means that population outcomes differ significantly across the municipality.
Note: The migration flows depicted above are historical and do not represent future or forecast migration flows or subsequent council boundary changes. The arrows represent migration flows to the area as a whole and do not indicate an origin or destination for any specific localities within the area. Overseas flow shows overseas arrivals based on answers to the census question "where did the person usually live 5-years ago" and .id estimates of international out-migration.
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