Next stop: 100,000

Photo: ADAM WRIGHTTHE Shoalhaven’s population is set to reach 100,000 within coming months.However chances are the milestone will be reached not by the birth of a baby, but through an elderly person relocating to the region.The region’s population came in at 98,076 during last year’s census, with a 1.3 per cent growth from the previous year.With that growth rate continuing the population should reach 100,000 later this year.The biggest growth in the Shoalhaven’s population has been recorded in the older age brackets as the region continues to attract large number of retirees.The biggest growth has been in the number of over 85-year-olds, which jumped an amazing 45.3 per cent from 1760 to 2557 between 2006 and 2011.The figures reveal the number of Shoalhaven residents aged 30 to 50 has been steadily declining over the years as many people leave the area to further their careers.However from the age of 50 the situation is reversed, with the local population bolstered by people seeking sea changes.In many older age categories the growth over the five years since the 2006 census has been between 15 and 20 per cent.This has contributed to the median age of a Shoalhaven resident increasing to 46 from 44 in 2006 and 41 in 2001.Population growth has been particularly evident between 2010 and 2011.When the census was conducted in June last year about 20 per cent of the NSW population, or 1.43 million people, lived in coastal areas outside Sydney.Shoalhaven and the neighbouring local government area of Kiama both had the fastest population growth at 1.3 per cent of the 21 coastal local government areas.The combined population of the 21 coastal local government areas grew by 12,300 people, or 0.9 per cent, between June 2010 and June 2011.The Shoalhaven’s strong growth rate over the 12 months placed it 29th in a ranking of all 161 local government areas in NSW, while Kiama was 30th.Shoalhaven’s annual growth rate over five years of 1.2 per cent, and its 1.3 per cent population growth over 12 months, placed it ahead of neighbouring municipalities.The closest was Kiama with 1.1 per cent annually for five years and 1.3 per cent in the final year, followed by Wingecarribee with 1.3 per cent annually over five years and 0.9 per cent in the final year, Wollongong with 1.0 per cent and 0.4 per cent, Bega Valley with 0.9 per cent and 0.5 per cent, and Eurobodalla with 0.7 per cent and 0.5 per cent.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.