How will our town's populations grow in the future?
WHILE the age groups within young families and retirees will see the highest proportion of growth in the future of the Northern Rivers population, what will our LGAs look like?
Using Australian Bureau of Statistics data, demographer Bernard Salt has predicted what the future will look like for the ages residents of our council areas.
Mr Salt said Ballina's growth is set to be dominated by the elderly, with the largest number of increases in the age groups 60 years of age and higher.
The 70-74 age group will see a predicted 20 per cent increase in 2029 from the 2019 population, while 80-84 year olds will spike 48 per cent in 2029 compared to the current population.
Interestingly Mr Salt's predictions show a decline of younger adults in the shire, with data highlighting a 7 per cent drop in the 20-24 age group between 2019 and 2029, and a 9 per cent drop in those aged 25-29 in the coming decade.
While most people associate Byron Shire with young adults, Mr Salt's data shows Byron's population is set to age and growth to slow over the coming decade.
"Byron Bay is also dominated by people in retirement," Mr Salt said.
"The common theme is around the grandparent stage of the life cycle."
In 2009, the census revealed there were only 838 residents aged between 70-74 in the shire, a figure which is set to increase by 182 per cent in 2029 to approximately 2370 residents.
The 75-79 age group will see a population boom of 70 per cent boom between 2019 and 2029 as the shire's population ages, resulting in a 121 per cent increase since 2009.
Mr Salt said although Kyogle's population had witnessed plummeting populations, he said that exodus will slow considerably in the coming decade.
While infants and young children aged 0-4 saw a dramatic population drop of 30 per cent between 2009 and 2019, this decline will slow to only 5 per cent in 2029.
However Kyogle will also see signs of growth amidst the declines.
While the age groups of 10-14 and 40-44 both saw dramatic declines of 26 per cent and 27 per cent respectively between 2009 and 2019, these age groups will enjoys increases in the next 10 years of 8 and 9 per cent.
Mr Salt said there are signs of growth in most age groups for Lismore residents.
"Lismore is expecting more people in their 30s and 40s and they'll be bringing their teenagers," he said.
Population rates for children under 9 years of age, as well as the 15-19 and 25-29 age groups are remaining steady with modest growth.
Following a 5 per cent decline between 2009 and 2011, the 10-14 age group will see a 4 per cent increase in 2029, joining a number of other age groups which have witnessed growth after a period of decline.
By 2029, Mr Salt said the age groups with the largest population growth will be those categories in the 75+ age bracket.
"In the Richmond Valley, the growth is going to be people in their 60s and 70s," he said.
The age group 75-79 will see a 43 per cent growth in residents from 2019 to 2029, increasing from 1034 to a predicted 1483.
The 80-84 age group will double, with a 52 per cent increase from 701 residents in 2019 to a projected 1072 in 2029.
Mr Salt has branded the Tweed Valley as the "population mecca of the Northern Rivers" with the region's highest growth in total population of 10 per cent from 2019 into 2029.
It is home to the highest population, with a predicted 2029 population of 107,886, compared to the next highest Northern Rivers population of Lismore at only 46,906.
There is growth among nearly all age groups, with some of the highest growth being in the 70-74 and 75-79 groups.