The most idyllic Australian country towns in terms of friendly people, economic diversity and positive employment rates have been revealed.
Stand-out areas from each state were shortlisted by The Demographics Group, with some towns, including Griffith in New South Wales, among the surprise top picks.
More obvious finalists were surf and wine region Margaret River in Western Australia’s South West region, and Tasmania’s picturesque riverside town, Margate, The Weekend Australian Magazine reported.
The favourite country town in Victoria was Woodend, known for its scenic hilly surrounds, while ‘charming’ Nairne came in at number one for South Australia.
Margaret River (pictured) in Western Australia’s South West region was named the state’s best country town for its stunning beaches, wine region, diversity and quality of life
In the Northern Territory, Katherine (pictured), was singled out for its unique economy, with a large portion of its population belonging to the RAAF base
Griffith (pictured) in New South Wales made the cut of stand-out areas
In the Northern Territory, Katherine was singled out for its unique economy, with a large portion of its population belonging to the RAAF base.
The Government funded powerhouse has provided much-needed stimulation to the far north location’s economy, with its population expected to continue climbing.
Sitting on the border of Queensland and NSW, Goondiwindi made the top list for its friendly community spirit, ‘slow living’ lifestyle and sprawling cotton fields.
‘Not too big, not too small and with just the right mix of verve, chutzpah and ‘a fair go’,’ was the criteria set out by the Group’s Bernard Salt and Simon Kuestenmacher.
The favourite country town in Victoria was Woodend (pictured), known for it’s scenic hilly surrounds and laid-back atmosphere
Tasmania’s picturesque riverside town, Margate (iconic train pictured), topped the island state’s country towns
The population of the picturesque locality south of Hobart was 2300, the fewest of all finalist towns
To be eligible for finalist status, ‘Goldilocks’ towns needed to have a population greater than 2000 and represent the ‘the best country-town lifestyle’.
Those with more than 30,000 were ruled out, given they would likely contain sub-groups of richer and poorer areas, throwing off the area’s statistical average.
The top towns made their way into the best rating localities because they had above-average income and below-average rates of unemployment.
They were also found to have a diverse range of young and old people, and diversity across industries providing economic stimulation.
Sitting on the border of Queensland and NSW, Goondiwindi made the top list for its friendly community spirit, ‘slow living’ lifestyle and sprawling cotton fields
The small town made the list for being prosperous and affordable, and having all the amenities needed to raise a family
AUSTRALIA’S BEST COUNTRY TOWNS
- Griffith (NSW), population 18,878, unemployment 5.3%, median age 36
- Margaret River (WA), population 6392, unemployment 4.9%, median age 35
- Goondiwindi (QLD), population 5524, unemployment 3.7%, median age 36
- Nairne (SA), population 4843, unemployment 5%, median age 35
- Woodend (VIC), population 3775, unemployment 5.9%, median age 43
- Katherine (NT), population 6303, unemployment 4.5%, median age 32
- Margate (TAS), population 2302, unemployment 3.9%, median age 33