Upper Lachlan ShirePopulation forecast
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This forecast has been updated with 2016 Census dwelling counts and the 2016 Estimated Resident Population. More information can be found here.

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Upper Lachlan Shire

Drivers of population change

Upper Lachlan Shire is located in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, about 240 kilometres south-west of the Sydney CBD and 140 kilometres north of Canberra. It is primarily a rural area with towns at Crookwell, Gunning and Taralga, as well as a number of smaller centres. The region has a high level of natural amenity due to its rural landscapes and national parks. The Hume Highway and the Sydney-Melbourne railway run through the southern part of the Shire,

Development history

European settlement of the area dates from the 1820s, with land used mainly for grazing and crop growing, and later some potato growing. Population was minimal until the 1840s. Growth took place from the 1850s into the late 1800s when several townships and villages were established, spurred by gold mining and the opening of the railway line from Sydney. Expansion resumed during the post-war years, with population decline from the 1960s. The population of the Shire fluctuated slightly between 1991 and 2011, but generally remained at about 7,000 people.

Migration patterns

Upper Lachlan Shire has a migration profile that is typical of regional Australia. There is significant out-migration of young adults (18-24 years), primarily for education and employment purposes. Many of these young adults would be heading for Canberra due to its proximity. Upper Lachlan Shire attracts younger families, typically with children aged 0-9 years, and a small number of older adults and retirees. Overall, Upper Lachlan Shire loses population to the ACT and to neighbouring Goulburn - Mulwaree Council, but gains population from other parts of southern NSW and interestingly - South East Queensland.

Historical migration flows, Upper Lachlan Shire, 2011-2016
Historical migration flows, Upper Lachlan Shire, 2011-2016
'Overseas' refers to arrivals only.

Population and household forecasts, 2016 to 2036, prepared by .id the population experts, October 2018.

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 only, based on answers to the census question “where did the person usually live 5-years ago.

Housing role and function

Despite the rural settlement pattern and small population size there are subtle differences in the housing role and function between the small areas. All areas attract younger families, but this role is more apparent in Gunning - Dalton and District. On the other hand, Taralga - Rural Upper Lachlan has a dual housing market focussed on retirees in addition to younger families.

Housing supply

Expansion of existing towns and villages in Upper Lachlan Shire is dependent on the supply of residential land but more importantly, the demand for future development. Gunning - Dalton and District benefit from closer proximity to Canberra and the Hume Highway, whereas Taralga - Upper Rural Lachlan has a high amenity factor and may benefit from its proximity to the Southern Tablelands towns. Residential supply has been identified in all small areas and it is assumed that each area will record modest growth into the future. Overall, around 440 dwellings are assumed in Upper Lachlan Shire in the forecast period, resulting in a 2036 population of around 7,700 persons.

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