Highly regarded Demographer Bernard Salt, has released an extensive report publishing growth projections for the Sunshine Coast up to 2040, titled “The Activated City: Imagining the Sunshine Coast in 2040”.
In the report, he covers growth trajectory in population (breaking in down into age brackets), and industry sectors; whilst business will drive growth, increased population will also drive business, creating a symbiotic relationship that will ultimately increase the general prosperity of the residents, making the region even more appealing…somewhat of a multiplier effect.
Looking at 2017, and then ahead to 2018, some of Salt’s forecasts are below:
- Population in 2017: 350,000 2040: 550,000
- Residential Dwellings 2017: 134,000 2040: 210,000
- Schools 2017: 135 2040: 205
One of the key forecasts is a massive increase in the number of young couples/families that will move to the area in search of opportunity and lifestyle. He says the tech-savvy workers in the ‘knowledge’ sectors will form a significant portion of the changing demographics, driving and promoting more diversity in the workplace, with the focus shifting away from over-dependence on the traditional tourism-based sector to a wider more inclusive and progressive range of industries.
Billion-dollar infrastructure projects from the hospital/health precinct at Kawana, through to the emerging SunCentral CBD in the heart of Maroochydore (a brand-new city within a city), in conjunction with a range of other significant developments, not excluding the airport expansion, are transforming this region into an incubator for a range of businesses, from start-ups to more established companies now prepared to relocate their headquarters here. Our airport will have 15 international flights per day by 2040, as opposed to the current meagre one per day; with the Asia-Pacific rim the focus.
Mr Salt has drawn comparisons between the future Sunshine Coast and artistic US city Santa Fe, envisaging Maroochydore to play host to nationally significant businesses by 2040, saying that the sense that the Sunshine Coast as an enclave for retirees is long gone, that the future is looking to be shaped by entrepreneurial, educated Millennials and a swell of young families.
The report paints an exciting, vibrant future for our region – an environment that offers solid job growth and diverse opportunities for our young people, that has long been needed here. It’s a fabulous time to be living and investing on the Sunshine Coast; the eyes of the nation will be watching us evolve over the next few decades – let’s embrace this and work together to ensure we also still retain our wonderful relaxed lifestyle and pristine natural beauty, that makes this such a unique and desirable place to visit and live.