ABS points out growth hot spots
THERE are lots of good reasons to live on the Northern Rivers.
We've got the best beaches, art galleries, restaurants and events, along with a relaxed and friendly lifestyle.
But it seems that the secret is getting out.
New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show every local government area on the Northern Rivers has seen a steady population increase over the past five years.
Ballina, Byron and Tweed are the shires attracting the most new residents.
Ballina, with a current population of 42,922, had a 1.3% increase between 2006 and 2011, and a 0.7% increase over the past year.
In Byron, which has 32,661 residents, the population has grown by 1.3% over the past five years and 1% over the past 12 months.
The population of the Tweed shire has grown to 90,542, with a staggering 1.7% increase over five years.
Lismore has also seen a 0.6% population growth in the 2010-2011 period.
One of those new residents is Rakella Moro, who is ecstatic to now call the city "home".
"I actually lived in Byron for about eight years, but then I moved to the Gold Coast because I thought there would be more opportunities there," she said.
"But I really missed it here.
"I couldn't wait to get back."
Ms Moro moved to Lismore about five weeks ago and already feels "pretty settled".
"I don't think I'll be going anywhere," she said.
"It's such a creative place, I'm in a great dance troupe and I really missed all of my friends, because they're like family."
The ABS reports that NSW's growth rate in 2010/11 was 1.1%.
However all local government areas on the Northern Rivers, except for Tweed, were lower than the national growth rate of 1.4%.
The estimated population of NSW has now reached 7.3 million people.