Key Statistics

Area: 1,640.05 sq km

Population: 24,604

Unemployment: 5.0%

Participation Rate: 61.2%

Median Taxable Income: $33,247 p.a.

Griffith Regional Profile

Griffith is a regional city located 570km west of Sydney, via the Great and Mid Western Highways.

In 2001 the population of Griffith was 24,604, an increase of 10.8% since 1996. During this period there was a large increase in the number of residents aged over 70 and those aged between 10 and 20 years.

There are around 11,518 people in the workforce in Griffith, of which 64% work full-time and 28% work part-time. At the time of the last census 5% of residents were unemployed.

The three largest employers in Griffith are the agriculture (18.0%), retail (16.2%) and manufacturing (15.2%) industries. The median taxable income for Griffith is approximately $639 per week.


Age Distribution

Between 1996 and 2001 Griffith Shire experienced population growth of 10.8%.

Growth was mostly due to large increases in the number of residents aged 75+. There was also significant growth in the number of 10-20 year olds.

Griffith Shire has a population distribution close to state and regional averages, however it has a slightly larger number in the under 15 age group.

Just over 50% of the Shires population are in the prime working age group (25-64 years).


The median taxable income for the Griffith Shire is approximately $639 per week. This is below the average for the Riverina as a whole.

The highest proportion of residents in the Griffith Shire (12.3%) earn between $200 and $299 per week.

Average weekly income for females is lower than that of males.

Indigenous Profile

Indigenous Persons

Indigenous persons account for 3.6% of the total population in the Griffith Shire. This is higher than the averages for both the Riverina region (3.3%) and NSW (2%).

While the total population of Griffith Shire seems to be ageing, the indigenous population is skewed more towards younger age groups with over 50% aged under 20 years.

Labour Force

Indigenous unemployment is higher in the Griffith Shire than the averages for either the Riverina or NSW.

The rate of unemployment is higher for females than males and there are also a larger number of women not in the labour force than men.

The average unemployment rate of indigenous persons in the Griffith Shire (23.4%) is more than four times the unemployment rate for the total population (5.0%).


Level of Education

The most common form of post-school qualification completed by Griffith residents is a certificate (12.6%).

Most common forms of post-school qualification for both males and females are the certificate, bachelor degree and diploma qualifications.

Griffith is slightly below the regional averages for all types of qualifications. The area also has fewer qualifications than the state average except in certificate and graduate studies.

Field of Education

The most common fields of study in the Griffith Shire are engineering, management and commerce and education.

Engineering is by far the most common field of study for males, followed by architecture and building. Females tend to move into the management, health and education fields.


Industry Performance

Industry growth due to local factors was strongest in the manufacturing (412 jobs created between 1996 and 2001), retail trade (201 jobs) and wholesale trade (177 jobs) industries. This is a positive result for the region as strong growth in the manufacturing industry generates economic activity that flows on to other industries in the region. Industry in Griffith is on a whole performing better than state and industry averages.

Employment by Occupation

Employment in the Griffith Shire is quite evenly spread across all occupation groups with the exception of advanced clerical and service workers (3.6%).

This indicates that there is little reliance on any one industry as a major source of employment, as discussed previously where there were a number of prominent industry sectors in the area.

Males are mostly employed as managers and tradespersons while females tend to be employed in clerical or professional occupations.

Griffith has a high proportion of labourers and related workers compared to NSW and the Riverina.

Internet Use

Over 26% of residents in the Griffith Shire use the Internet, with most use occurring in the home.

The level of use of the Internet is relatively equal for males and females across the Shire.

Fewer than 0.5% of people aged over 65 use the Internet with highest use in the prime working age bracket (25-64 years).


Labour Force Status

The average rate of unemployment in Griffith is 5.0% with a participation rate of 61.2%.

Griffith experienced employment growth of 10.0% between 1996 and 2001. This is more than double the average rate of growth for the Riverina of 4.0%.

Male unemployment is higher in all segments except the 65+ age group.

Employment Trend

Agriculture has remained the largest employer in the Griffith Shire since 1991. The manufacturing and retail industries are also large employers in the area.

The largest increase in employment since 1991 occurred in the manufacturing industry. The largest decrease occurred in the agriculture industry.

In 2001, female employment was strongest in the retail, health and agriculture sectors.

In contrast, male employment was most heavily concentrated in the agriculture, manufacturing and retail industries.

Building Approvals

The total value of building approvals in Griffith in 2002 was $28.3 million. The average price of building approvals was $199,000.

The value of residential building approvals grew by 33.2% p.a. between 1998 and 2002. This is lower than the average growth of 55% for NSW and the Riverina (43.7%).

It appears that Griffith has followed most of the trends experienced across the Riverina, however the market has fallen off since December 2002.

Volatility between September 1999 and March 2001 can most likely be attributed to the introduction of the GST.