At this rate it will take Tamworth until about 2073 to reach the 100,000 population target.
The local government area grew by just under 1 per cent from 2017 to 2018, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.
Tamworth Regional Council has an ambitious plan to shave at least three decades off that.
"We need to increase the growth rate to a bit over 2 per cent," acting mayor Phil Betts said.
"It is an ambitious target but it's possible, with the $4 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund put in place for job creation measures it makes the goal quite realistic."
The $4.2 billion state government piggy bank will be spent in five priority areas known as special activation precincts.
Tamworth Regional Council is determined to become one of them, with Parkes and Wagga Wagga the first cabs off the rank announced at the start of the year.
If the city is chosen, the money will be used to attract businesses and investors and economic development to Tamworth.
Negotiations with the state government on the project are progressing well, Cr Betts said.
"I'm confident we could be one of those precincts," he said.
"We need to look at transport efficiencies with better public transport, a lot of those issues would be dealt with if we are named a special activation precinct."
Just back from the Regions Rising Summit in Canberra, Cr Betts had an opportunity to learn about how to create a blueprint for population growth.
The event covered the biggest issues faced in regional employment, health, education and population growth.
Cr Betts said one way to grow the numbers is to draw people from the major capital cities out to the region, and he believes Tamworth's membership with marketing body Evocities helps with that.
"Regional Australia will benefit from the growth and overcrowding in major capital cities in Australia," he said.
"The federal government is looking to relieve those pressures by moving people to regional areas."