Ballarat's rapid population growth thanks to city's relaxed vibe

BALLARAT is fast becoming one of regional Victoria’s most liveable cities.

A mix of trendy restaurants, cafes, bars and a generally relaxed vibe is drawing new families and individuals from throughout Australia and the world. 

With a decent coffee now easy to find, fresh farm produce on our doorstep and the added bonus of no traffic jams, it’s no wonder the population is expanding. 

Recent data reveals Ballarat was the second regional city to experience the most growth over the past year, with the population climbing by 2100 people. 

According to Ballarat’s top new business managers, things are not likely to slow down either. 

Cafe Meigas, an authentic Spanish restaurant in the Bridge Mall, opened last September and its owners, Yamelly Perez and Jose Fernandez, say Ballarat has been a hospitality dream. 

“Ballarat now has everything you need, it’s affordable, the people are friendly and you have time to sit back and relax,” Ms Perez said.

“We notice a lot of people who used to live in bigger cities and have made the move here because of its convenience.”

Ms Perez’s sentiments are shared by the Bashford-Leger family, who chose to settle in Ballarat after experiencing cultures and communities all over the world. 

The family will move into Lucas in August, an area which The Courier recently reported was one of the fastest growing in regional Victoria. 

Alfredton’s population has seen a 5.4 per cent increase over the past year with ABS data revealing there were 9351 people living in Alfredton in 2013, compared with 8876 in 2012.

patrick.byrne@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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