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Insight Nine: Regional population trends in Tasmania: Issues and options

Lisa Denny and Nyree Pisanu

Institute report aimed at providing an evidence base for regional population policy and planning in Tasmania.

Dr Lisa Denny
Image: Dr Lisa Denny

Tasmania is experiencing its strongest rate of population growth in almost a decade, but the situation differs substantially for the State’s 29 Local Government Areas (LGAs), the latest report released today by the University of Tasmania’s Institute for the Study of Social Change reveals.

The report Insight Nine: Regional population trends in Tasmania: issues and options, by Demographer and Research Fellow Dr Lisa Denny and researcher Nyree Pisanu, provides a demographic profile for each of the 29 LGAs, highlighting the respective cause of change and the implications for the future.

Dr Denny said the nature of aggregated statewide data masks the true picture of how the population is changing within the State. Dr Denny said:

The often-overlooked reality is that both the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance population projections suggest the number of people living in Tasmania will to start to decline by mid-century.

“Over half of Tasmania’s LGAs are already experiencing population decline and based on the Department of Treasury and Finance’s population projections to 2042, 14 LGAs will grow and 15 will continue to decline.”

Nyree Pisanu
Image: Nyree Pisanu

While most of the population growth is expected to occur in the south of the State in Brighton, Hobart, Clarence and Sorell, northern Tasmania will also experience growth in Latrobe, West Tamar, Launceston and the Northern Midlands.

Due to the complexity of depopulation worldwide, Dr Denny said no generic or ‘best practice’ policy responses, nor systematic evidence in relation to the effectiveness of policy interventions, have been established.

The report features four specific policy recommendations to target the challenges and opportunities associated with population change. Dr Denny said:

Regardless, the most appropriate response to population ageing will need to be a collaborative one, depending on local context, governance frameworks and the community and political will to respond.

The report also features three case studies as examples of the broad policy approaches that can be adopted in response to depopulation at a regional level. You can read the full versions below.

Read the full report (PDF 1.1 MB)  

Case study 1: Kianuu Finland (PDF 177.3 KB)  

Case study 2: Southland NZ (PDF 177.7 KB)  

Case study 3: Shepparton VIC (PDF 172.2 KB)  


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