An infographic that illustrates the four key trends contributing to regional population change in Western Australia:
1. Population growth in the mining regions, due to people moving to take up employment in resources sector jobs (mining, oil and gas);
2. Population growth in regional areas surrounding the Perth metropolitan area, due to new housing developments and lifestyle factors (especially attractive to families);
3. Population growth in coastal areas due to people seeking lifestyle and amenity factors, particularly for older people in pre-retirement or early retirement; and
4. Population declining in some inland, non-mining areas due to a restructuring of the agricultural workforce and the effect of the above trends.
The key message is that as the mining boom slows down, lifestyle will become an increasingly important driver of regional population growth. People moving to regions are attracted by lifestyle opportunities and amenities, such as good restaurants, shopping and recreation activities, close-knit communities and increased security/safety. Regional areas which are more attractive also have good community services, schools, health care, transport and communications infrastructure.
Additional messages are:
• Increasing the number of families moving to regions requires access to quality schools and future career opportunities;
• There is a growing trend in people moving to regions in pre-retirement years, in their fifties when the kids have left home, to establish housing and links in a new region where they then plan to spend their retirement;
• Familiarity is a big factor in making the shift from a city life to a country life. A shift to regional living can be inspired by childhood memories, a favourite holiday location, or even by television series such as River Cottage Australia, Gourmet Farmer or Seachange.