Bendigo has fallen behind Australia’s largest cities in employment growth, median income and education.
The data comes from initial indicators for the Federal Government’s Smart Cities Plan, which are being released today.
The Smart Cities plan aims to improve the quality of life inside the municipality by stimulating growth and improving service provision over the next two decades.
Bendigo features in the performance framework as one of Australia’s 21 largest cities with a population above 80,000.
According to the statistics released, Bendigo has the worst annual employment growth with -3.75 per cent change in the past 12 months.
Bendigo also has an unemployment rate of 5.07 per cent and a youth unemployment rate of 8.85 per cent.
The average youth unemployment rate across the framework is 11.9 per cent.
The youth unemployment rate is the third lowest across the 21 cities. Only 46.4 per cent of the city’s population have completed year 12 (fourth lowest).
Bendigo median annual household income is listed as $61,100, ahead of just Ballarat and Launceston.
Numbers don’t improve in the housing sector with 11.2 per cent of people under rent stress and 4.77 per cent of home owners under mortgage stress.
Financial stress is classed as rent or mortgage payments making up 30 per cent or more of the home’s income.
On a positive note, Bendigo has the third lowest median house price – $314,000 for houses and $250,000 for units.
The average Bendigo resident is expected to live for 81.2 years with the average person 36.8 years old. The city has a population of approximately 95,600.
Also positive was Bendigo having the second highest proportion of people who volunteer with 22.6 per cent of the population donating their time to something. This compares to an average of 19.1 per cent across the framework.
Education data suggest that 27 per cent of Bendigo people have completed a diploma or certificate 3 or 4 and only 16.7 per cent have completed a bachelor degree.
Another weak point came in business creation. Bendigo has the third lowest rate of new businesses that started trading in the last year with 11.5 per cent, compared to the average of 13.9 per cent.
To see the full National Cities Performance Framework data click here.