General information

barwon-south-west-map

The Barwon South Western (BSW) Region covers south eastern Victoria and is bounded by Lara to the east and the border of South Australia to the west. It is geographically diverse including the larger regional centres of Geelong and Warrnambool as well as coastal and inland towns and rural communities.

Approximately 360,387 people live in the region. Close to 50 per cent live in Geelong, the largest regional city in Victoria. The rest of the population lives in the regional centre of Warrnambool, the larger regional towns of Colac, Hamilton, Portland and Torquay and in the many costal and inland towns and communities.

Municipalities

Barwon South Western contains eight municipalities:

    Regional Ethnic Communities’ Councils/Migrant Resource Centres:

    Diversity in the Region

    While regional municipalities generally have a high proportion of Anglo-Australian residents, BSW actually has the largest proportion of residents born in main non-English speaking countries (NESCs) (6.7 per cent) and speaking a LOTE at home (6.7 per cent) of all the Regional Advisory Councils, with most other municipalities in the region having only around 4.5 per cent of LOTE speaking residents and similar proportions born in one of the main NESCs. Italian is the most widely spoken LOTE in the region, with over 3,000 speakers, or 0.8 per cent of the population. Other languages with more than 1,000 speakers include Croatian (2,292) and German, Macedonian and Greek (each around 1,150).

    Language spoken at home, Barwon-South West

    Language spoken at home

     Number

    %

    English 321,883 89.3%
    LOTE 24,057 6.7%
    Not stated 14,440 4%
    TOTAL 360,380 100%

    ABS 2011 Census data.

    Country of birth, Barwon-South West

    Country of birthNumber%

    Australia

    298,006

    82.7%

    Overseas*

    45,394

    12.6%

       Main English speaking countries

    21,195

    5.9%

       Main non-English speaking countries

    24,199

    6.7%

    Not stated

    16,981

    4.7%

    TOTAL

    360,381

    100%

    *Main and non Main English speaking countries including Inadequately Described, At Sea and Not Elsewhere Classified. ABS 2011 Census data.

    Proficiency in Spoken English in the Barwon-South West, Victoria, 2011 Census

    English proficiencyBarwon-South Western Region
    Speaks English only

    321,892

    Speaks another language and speaks English
       Very well

    14,397

       Well

    6,531

       Not well

    3,046

       Not at all

    645

       Not stated -
       (both language and proficiency not stated)

    13,514

       Not stated -
       (language stated, proficiency not stated)

    362

    Total Persons

    360,387*

    *Minor differences in population totals between the tables are due to the need to assign a value of '0' or '3' to cases where the cell count is less than 3 in order to maintain confidentiality.

    Main religions

    Religious affiliation Number         
    %        
    Western Catholic

    98,946

    41

    Anglican Church of Australia

    51,024

    21

    Uniting Church

    29,211

    12

    Presbyterian

    17,511

    7

    Baptist

    7,029

    3

    Lutheran

    5,994

    3

    Total

    360,386

     

    Population growth in the area

    The population of Barwon South West is projected to grow by around 90,000 between 2006 and 2026 (from 355,000 to 445,000) and at a higher rate than the regional Victoria average. The strongest growth is likely to occur in Geelong, Warrnambool and Torquay, with steady growth also expected in Ocean Grove, Colac, Camperdown, Portland and Hamilton. Most of these locations have hinterland settlements that rely on the larger centres for some business and community services. However, the smaller settlements themselves, such as Terang and Winchelsea, are also focal points for retailing, services and recreation for surrounding areas.

    Portland, Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Torquay are likely to continue to grow strongly as favoured residential and service locations, although further west an ageing population is projected top reduce growth rates.

    As in other regions, much of this growth will come from migration, with around 61,000 people expected to make the move to the region over the next 20 years – two-thirds of projected population growth.

    The region’s population structure is ageing at a rate 10% higher than the Victorian and Australian averages. It is anticipated that the proportion of people aged 65 or older is likely to increase from 21% in 2001 to 37% by 2051. The region’s population aged 75 years and over is projected to rise from 7.9 per cent in 2006 to 15.4 per cent in 2036.

    This population ageing will be offset by Geelong’s ability to offer employment, education and lifestyle options that will help in attracting and retaining young people. The region’s projected population age structure and anticipated inbound migration will also amplify the need for acceptance and appreciation of people of all abilities, cultures, ethnicities, ages, sexual orientation and gender.

    Useful information links for the Barwon South Western Region

    For more information about Diversity in Geelong and the G21 Geelong Region Plan go to www.g21.com.au/geelongregionplan

     

    LGA Regional Profiles:

    Religious affiliation

    Number

    %

    Western Catholic

    93,662

    27

    Anglican Church of Australia

    51,876

    15

    Uniting Church

    32,114

    9.4

    Presbyterian

    18,132

    5.3

    Baptist

    6,050

    1.7

    Lutheran

    5,970

    1.7

    Total

    341,421

     

    Events Calendar

    • 30 Sep

      Mooncake Festival

      more >
    • 05 Oct

      Book Launch: Australia's New Wave of Italian Migration: Paradise or Illusion?

      more >
    • 06 Oct

      Chinese Association of Victoria 35th Anniversary Gala Ball

      more >
    • 07 Oct

      Marysville Multicultural & Business Councils' Golf Challenge

      more >
    find more events here >

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