Key Statistics

Area: 2,458.61 sq km

Population: 3,792

Unemployment: 5.1%

Participation Rate: 59.6%

Median Taxable Income: $33,605 p.a.

Gundagai Regional Profile

The main regional centre in the Gundagai Shire is Gundagai which is a regional town situated 375 km south west of Sydney just off the Hume Highway.

In 2001 the population of the Gundagai Shire was 3,792. Since 1996 the Shire has experienced its strongest growth in the number of people over 40 years of age.

There are around 1,787 people in the workforce in the Gundagai Shire, of which 58% work full-time and 33% work part-time. At the time of the last census 5% of residents were unemployed.

Two of the largest employers in the Gundagai Shire are the agriculture (29.8%) and retail (13.2%) industries. The median taxable income for the Gundagai Shire is approximately $646 per week.


Age Distribution

Between 1996 and 2001 Gundagai Shire experienced a slight decline in population of 0.05%.

The decline in population was driven by a reduction in the number of people under 40 years of age. Strong growth in most older demographics offset this decline.

Gundagai Shire has a population distribution close to the state and regional averages, however the Shire has a slightly lower number in the 15-24 age group.

Just over 51% of the Shires population are in the prime working age group (25-64 years).


The median taxable income for the Gundagai Shire is approximately $646 per week. This is only slightly below the average for the Riverina as a whole.

The highest proportion of residents in the Gundagai Shire (15.4%) 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 1.9% of the total population in the Gundagai Shire. This is much lower than the average for the Riverina region (3.3%) and slightly lower than that of NSW (2%).

While the total population of Gundagai Shire seems to be ageing, the indigenous population is skewed more towards younger age groups with over 65% aged under 20 years.

Labour Force

There is zero unemployment in the indigenous community of the Gundagai Shire. There are also very few who are not in the labour force.


Level of Education

The most common form of post-school qualification completed by Gundagai residents is a certificate (12.0%).

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

Gundagai is slightly below the regional averages for each type of qualification except in diploma qualifications.

Field of Education

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

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


Industry Performance

Industry growth due to local factors was strongest in the agriculture (92 jobs created between 1996 and 2001), wholesale trade (46 jobs) and manufacturing (26 jobs) industries. This is a positive result for the region as the agriculture and manufacturing industries are “wealth creators” which generate economic activity that flows on to other industries in the region. Industry in the Gundagai Shire is performing better than state and industry averages.


Employment by Occupation

Employment in the Gundagai Shire is concentrated in managers and administrators occupations as well as labourers and related occupations.

The prevalence of these occupations is attributable to the high number of farmers and small business owners who are classified as managers.

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

Gundagai has a high proportion of labourers compared to NSW and the Riverina.

Internet Use


Over 23% of residents in the Gundagai Shire use the Internet, with most use occurring in the home.

The level of use of the Internet for females is slightly higher than that of males (25% and 21% respectively).

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 the Gundagai Shire is 5.1% with a participation rate of 59.6%.

The Gundagai Shire experienced employment growth of 15.5% between 1996 and 2001. This is almost four times the average rate of growth for the Riverina of 4.0%.

Female unemployment is higher in all age groups except 15-24 and 25-34. This is unusual as males tend to have the higher unemployment rate.

Employment Trend

Agriculture has remained the largest employer in the Gundagai Shire since 1991.

The largest increase in employment since 1991 occurred in the manufacturing industry. The largest decrease occurred in the finance and insurance industry.

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

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

Building Approvals

The total value of building approvals in the Gundagai Shire in 2002 was $2.3 million. The average price of building approvals was $151,000.

The value of residential building approvals grew by only 19.1% p.a. between 1998 and 2002. This is lower than the average growth of 55% for NSW and the Riverina (43.7%).

The building market in Gundagai appears to be extremely volatile, most of which is attributable to local factors and a small population base. Volatility between September 1999 and March 2001 can most likely be attributed to the introduction of the GST.