Tenterfield shire faces supporting an aging population, which has prompted more calls for our health services to be improved.
The latest Census data shows the region is home to twice as many residents in their 60s as the state average.
The figures revealed the shire's largest age group is 65 to 69 years with 719 residents or 10.6 per cent of the 6810 total - more than double the average for the state of 5.2 per cent.
Similarly, for the 60 to 64 bracket, the shire has 701 people making up 10.3 per cent of the region's total population, nearly double the average for NSW.
Mayor, Bronwyn Petrie, said there was little doubt the shire faced having to support an aging population as it continued to deliver affordable, cost-effective services across a large and diverse area where road maintenance and upgrades were the council's greatest cost challenge.
She said it was imperative for the local region to have good health services.
"[This] is why the council continues to lobby for better services from Hunter New England Health district and the state government," Ms Petrie said.
The data, compiled from the 2021 Census, also reveals there are slightly more women than men living in the region. Most are living in two-people households, nearly half are married and more than half own their residence outright.
"The shire is seeing good business activity across all sectors - services, tourism, agriculture and construction with very strong demand for housing," Ms Petrie said.
"There is a high and unmet demand for housing and rentals. Tenterfield was listed 17th out of 20 areas most in need of more rental properties with zero percent rental availability, as reported by The Star recently.
"There's no doubt we have a housing shortage."
Ms Petrie said demand was being driven by 'tree-changers' moving to northern New England and most recently people seeking to move from parts of the NSW North Coast hit by floods.
Despite some challenges, Ms Petrie said the shire's outlook was bright.
Property transfers processed through council have at least quadrupled in the past two to three years, she commented.
"We are encouraging young families and businesses to relocate to the shire.
"There are currently good jobs and training apprenticeships available in health and aged-care, education, construction, hospitality and farming," she said.
While young people are under-represented in the shire compared with state averages, the latest Census figure shows 225 residents aged between 25 and 29 and 265 aged zero to four years.
"We do have youngsters coming through," Ms Petrie said
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