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Younger, wealthier and more domestically violent: How Orange compares to the rest of Central NSW

May 2, 2023


By Peter Holmes


The people of Orange are wealthier, greener and younger compared to their neighbours across Central NSW. They also commit more domestic assaults and house thefts, are less likely to volunteer, are under more housing stress, and are far more likely to be hospitalised for acts of self-harm.


The snapshot gives a broad overview of the people in Orange, and how their lives differ from people living in Central NSW as a whole.

The data is contained in Orange City Council papers for Tuesday night’s meeting (May 2, 2023), as part of the Employment and Economic Development Policy Committee agenda.




It is collated by the Central NSW Joint Organisation (JO), which was established five years ago and aims, among other things, to “establish strategic regional priorities for the joint organisation area".


It consists of 11 member councils: Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes and Weddin. Central Tablelands Water and Upper Macquarie County Council are all Associate Members.

Data sources for the “Statistical Snapshot 2022” include the Australian Bureau of Statistics, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, NSW Health, Transport for NSW and the NSW Electoral Commission. The Central NSW Joint Organisation does not regularly update the figures.




Some of the data is reasonably current, however other statistics in the 2022 snapshot are so out of date (2016) as to be a little whiffy about the edges.


For example, the figures on the top employment categories in Orange date back seven years. As do the homelessness numbers.


Meanwhile, the figures on weekly waste and recycling rates - that show the people of Orange produce less daily waste and recycle far more when compared to Central NSW as a whole - date back to 2018-19.


There were 401 self-harm hospitalisations per 100,000 population in Orange, compared to 245 per 100,000 people across the rest of Central NSW, however these figures date back to 2017-19.

Councillor Steve Peterson will raise at Tuesday night’s meeting the possibility of updating the statistics - which he describes as “the vital signs for Orange” - more regularly and making them widely available to the people of Orange.




The most recent data, from 2021 or 2022, shows that:


  1. The median age of people in Orange is 37 years, compared to 43.2 years for the rest of Central NSW;

  2. The median weekly rent was $330 in Orange, as against $254 in the rest of Central NSW;

  3. The unemployment rate in Orange (2.3 percent) was slightly lower than the rest of Central NSW (2.36 percent);

  4. The median monthly mortgage repayment in Orange was $1,700, opposed to $1,375 across the rest of Central NSW, however these figures from 2021 predate the Reserve Bank’s interest rates hikes;

  5. In Orange, 17.9 percent of people are aged 65 and over, compared to 22.48 percent across Central NSW;

  6. Orange has fewer volunteers (15.2 percent) than the rest of Central NSW (18.7 percent);

  7. Female councillors make up 25 percent of Orange’s ranks, down on the Central NSW average of 36 percent;

  8. The annual rate of domestic violence assaults (741 per 100,000 population) in Orange was way above the Central NSW average of 553 per 100,000 population;

  9. The total length of roads in the Orange Local Government Area is 523.5km, at an average of 12.03 metres per person. Across the rest of Central NSW there are 15,910km of road, at an average of 99 metres per person.

  10. The number of people experiencing housing stress (difficulty meeting mortgage or rent) was 39.4 percent in Orange, as opposed to 36.4 percent across the rest of Central NSW, however these figures from 2021 also predate the Reserve Bank’s multiple rate hikes since May 2022.

  11. On the Socio Economic Index Rating, where 1 = the poorest Local Government Area, Orange ranked 77 compared to the average for the rest of Central NSW, which ranked 56.


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