White Hills and Ascot areas lead the way for Greater Bendigo population growth in 2021 | Bendigo Advertiser

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AUSTRALIA’s flight to the regions has increased Bendigo’s population by 1400 over the past year. Major cities have emptied significantly in 2021, with Melbourne alone losing 60,500 people who have packed their bags and sought greener pastures elsewhere. ABS Director of Demography Beidar Cho said regional Australia’s population grew by 70,900 people in 2020-21. “This is the first time since 1981 that Australia’s regional population has grown more than capital cities, due to changing migration patterns during the pandemic,” he said. MORE NEWS: The Australian Regional Institute publishes Affordable and Appropriate Housing Solutions at the Bendigo event. Regional Victoria gained 15,700, but the state as a whole was well down. Regional Population Unit demographer Andrew Howe said the highest growth areas in Greater Bendigo were in the White Hills/Ascot area. “Victoria as a state saw its population decline overall by 45,000 people, but Greater Bendigo gained 1,400,” he said. “The fastest growing areas in Bendigo were the White Hills/Ascot areas which grew by 500. After that, Strathfieldsaye grew by 400 and California/Eaglehawk grew by 200.” “Our national borders have been closed during this time and there are hardly any new residents from overseas, so the impact has come from our population moving into Australia and Bendigo and other areas have gained. MORE NEWS: Bendigo council adopts new cultural and diversity plan Mr Howe said Bendigo town center has shrunk by 200 residents in the past 12 months, reflecting the move away from life in the statewide central business district in favor of more open areas. “Greater Melbourne has been really interesting,” he said. “Where it’s down from just over 60,000 people over the past year as, until two years ago, Melbourne was Australia’s fastest growing capital. :