MORE people are moving to North Tamworth than anywhere else in the region, while most of the city’s babies are born in East Tamworth.
The recently released 2017 figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal some interesting trends within the city and its surrounding Local Government Area (LGA).
Tamworth Regional Council has a population of 61,554 – an increase of 556 – at a growth rate of just under one per cent per annum.
With 531 deaths, 190 of those in North Tamworth, the city had a natural increase (births minus deaths) of 153 people.
Overseas migration (379 people) played a key part in the region’s growth, making up 68 per cent of the LGA’s net growth.
Of the region’s 679 births, a whopping 35 per cent (239 babies) of them were to people living in East Tamworth, which suggests the suburb is a hot spot for new and young families.
East Tamworth is also the city’s largest suburb, with 20,827 people calling it home, and it also had the highest natural increase (94).
While it’s considered a highly-sought after location, it had more internal departures (1941) than arrivals (1704), with 237 people moving elsewhere in the council area.
This could be due to the rise of the sub-divisions in North Tamworth, which was the suburb with the highest number of internal arrivals at 216.
There is also a growing trend of elderly couples downsizing or relocating to aged-care facilities and retirement homes in North Tamworth.
Tamworth councillor Glen Inglis wasn’t surprised to hear the North Tamworth area was leading the city’s growth.
“You only have to drive out to Hills Plains once a month to see new houses going up,” Cr Inglis said.
He said it was incumbent upon council to have the city's growth at the forefront of its planning.
“In fact, that’s why Hills Plains was originally established more than a decade ago as a 25 to 30-year residential growth area.
“We’ve been consistently getting around that one per cent positive growth rate. There is everything to say that’s going to continue in the future, and there are the tell-tale signs that will increase.”
Regional LGAs struggling to maintain population numbers
Across the region, Armidale LGA grew 0.8 per cent to 30,552, while Gunnedah Shire grew by 0.6 per cent.
Walcha Shire increased by 0.4 and the Liverpool Plains grew by just 0.2 per cent.
However that’s where the region’s growth stopped, with other LGAs in the New England and North West experiencing a decrease in population numbers.
Moree Plains was hit the hardest, losing 182 people, a decline of 1.3 per cent.
It was followed by Narrabri Shire, which declined 93 people, and Uralla (44 people), both of which decreased by 0.7 per cent.
Tenterfield Shire lost 0.6 per cent of its population, while Gwydir Shire and Glen Innes Severn councils lost 0.2 per cent.
Inverell Shire’s population remained virtually the same, gaining two people, with a growth rate of zero per cent.