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Who lives in our region?

Our people

The usual resident population of the HNECC region in 2016 was 1,216,725 people, this is expected to increase by 19.5% by 2031 to over 1.4 million people.

In 2016, 19.1% of the population living in the HNECC region were aged 65 years and over, which is higher than the state average (15.7%). The Local Government Areas (LGAs) with the highest proportion of the population aged 65 years and over are:

  • Mid-Coast (30.1%)
  • Tenterfield (27.6%)
  • Gwydir (26.1%)
  • Walcha (25.8%)

Undoubtedly, our ageing population will increasingly challenge the healthcare system, given the larger number of older people, the fact that many health conditions, chronic disease and associated disability become more common with age, and that older people are higher users of health services.

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

In 2016 there were 65,183 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people residing in the HNECC region, or 5.4% of our total population. This proportion is greater than the state (2.9%) and national averages (2.8%).
The LGAs with the highest resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations are located in the northern part of our region, including:

  • Moree Plains (21.6%)
  • Gunnedah (12.8%)
  • Liverpool Plains (12.4%)
  • Narrabri (12.2%)

The Aboriginal population has a considerably younger age profile than the non-Aboriginal population, as shown in the figure below. This is due to higher rates of fertility and shorter life expectancy of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

* Population by Aboriginality, age and sex, HNECC PHN region, 2016 (Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, 2018). Note: Based on population estimates as at 30 June each year.

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