Some surprising data and insights were revealed by demographer Bernard Salt.
Some surprising data and insights were revealed by demographer Bernard Salt. Contributed

Surprising facts about the Gympie region's make-up

FROM the region's most community-minded suburb to its fastest growing town, yesterday's Gympie Futures breakfast was a feast of surprising facts about the Gympie region.

These were some of the points futurist and demographer Bernard Salt revealed for guests as he wove together the threads of the region's economic future.

Goomeri and Pie Creek co-claimed the community spirit award, with 30 per cent of their population saying they volunteer.

Mayor Mick Curran, bernard Salt, Micahel Nolan, Julie Williams and Julie Worth at Gympie Futures breakfast.
FORUM: Mayor Mick Curran, Bernard Salt, Micahel Nolan, Julie Williams and Julie Worth gather to talk about Gympie's future. Scott Kovacevic

Curra had the lowest rate at 18 per cent, three points below the Australian average of 21 per cent.

However, the north-Gympie township sat at the top of the list for the number of residents aged 65 and over.

Here, 44 per cent of the population could claim the age pension, well above The Palms' rate of 35 per cent and Tamaree's 31 per cent.

Chatsworth had the lowest proportion at 15 per cent, scraping under the Australian rate of 16 per cent.

INVESTMENT: Gympie State High School has received $500,000 from the state government to improve their existing agricultural program.
Agriculture is a big piece of the region's economy. Rowan Schindler

Agriculture,forestry and mining is the biggest piece of the regional economy pie, with a gross regional product of about $380 million.

Manufacturing is the second biggest, at about $210 million, narrowly pipping health care and social assistance.

At the low end of the scale, at $50 million GRP or less were: arts and recreation services; mining; electricity, gas, water and waste services; administrative and support services; and rental hiring and real estate services.

It is a different story when it comes to industry growth.

Generic photo of Macarthur Coal's Coppabella Mine southwest of Mackay. Source: Macarthur Coal Ltd. via Bloomberg News EDITOR'S NOTE: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVING.
Mining is trending down. Supplied

Information, media and telecommunications have had the biggest growth surge at 20 per cent, beating out the growth of about 15 per cent in wholesale trade.

Inversely, mining took the biggest beating with a drop of about 24 per cent.

This was followed by electricity, gas, water and waste services and construction which each took a dive of more than 10 per cent.

Manufacturing and education and training each barely changed.

Fast facts

Population growth from 2011 to 2016

Curra: 23%

The Palms: 15

Tin Can Bay: 12

Rainbow Beach: 10

Nahrunda: 10

Pie Creek: 8

Cooloola Village: 5

Kilkivan: 5

Goomeri: 4

Imbil: 1

Growth by heritage (compared with Australian rate)

South Korea: 100% (33)

India: 86 (54)

Italy: 42 (-6)

South Africa: 28 (12)

Sri Lanka 25 (27)

Philippines: 25 (36)

Malaysia: 24 (19)

New Zealand 13 (7)

UK: 3 (-1)

Germany: -5 (-5)

China: -20 (60)

Vietnam: -50 (19)