Dubbo Regional Council is experiencing the largest population growth of any local government area (LGA) in Western NSW.
The latest population estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the population of the Dubbo Regional Council area increased by 655 people from 51,429 to 52,084 in the 12 months to June 2017.
Comparatively, Bathurst increased by 511 people and Orange grew by 252 over the same period. The Mid-Western Regional Council area also had an increase of 257 people.
Further afield, Wagga Wagga attracted an extra 331 residents and Tamworth increased by 556.
The ABS was able to look at additional data to give insights into why areas were growing or declining.
Dubbo’s growth was explained by 265 more births than deaths, 137 new residents coming from across Australia, and 253 overseas migrants who chose to make Dubbo their home.
The data also looked at statistical areas within regions, which revealed the most popular suburbs.
Within the council area, Dubbo South was the boom area with an additional 403 residents, followed by Dubbo West with 247.
Dubbo East declined by 109 people while the wider region grew by 71. Wellington increased its population by 38 residents.
Most of the residents moving away from the Dubbo’s east were moving to either the north or west.
The news wasn’t so positive for smaller towns in the Orana and Far West region. Outside of Dubbo and Wellington, all areas saw decreases in population.
Narromine has shed 55 residents in 12 months, while Nyngan-Warren dropped 74 and Coonabarabran 75. Walgett and Lightning Ridge were among the hardest hit, losing 132 people or 2 per cent of their population.
Broken Hill also saw 247 residents leave town.
Most towns that saw a decrease in population could be attributed to people moving away to other centres.
The data was also able to reveal towns with an aging population where the number of deaths outnumbered births.
Gilgandra had 15 more deaths than new arrivals, while Wellington had 10, Nyngan-Warren seven and Coonabarabran 27.
The Central West was more stable, with a number of towns experiencing at least some growth but there were also a number of towns that shed residents including West Wyalong, Parkes, Grenfell and Condobolin.