Central Otago has experienced a decade of exceptional population growth.  Between the 2001 and 2013 censuses the resident population grew by 25.4 per cent from 14,750 to 18,500.

The fastest rate of growth has been experienced in the Cromwell ward, where the population has increased between the two censuses by over 68 % to 6,018.  Alexandra ward grew a still impressive 11 % to 5,364 and the population of the Earnscleugh/Maunherikia ward which includes Clyde increased over 18 % to 3,261.

Note: Vincent Ward was formed in 2007 and includes Alexandra, Earnscleugh and Manuherikia.

The population growth can be attributed to several factors including:

  1. The growing influence of lifestyle choice.
  2. The flow on effect of growth in the Queenstown Lakes area (especially for Cromwell).
  3. The increasing importance of Central Otago as a regional service base.
  4. New industry sectors such as tourism and viticulture as well as continued growth strengthening of traditional industries.

Future growth projections indicate that the population of the District will continue to grow. The question is how much!  Work done for the District Council by Rationale consultants for long term planning purposes suggests an average annual growth rate through to 2045 of 0.6% which would result in a resident population then of 22,085. 
Cromwell is expected to continue to grow fastest while the populations of Roxburgh and the Maniototo will be more static. Alexandra will continue to grow but at a slower rate than Cromwell.  i
Due to its small base, however the change in Central Otago’s population will continue to be subject to surges both inwards and outwards. For example, a major mining or hydro development could see a huge influx of people to the district. 

Most of the forecast increase in population will come from migration rather than births.

Business Directory
Business Groups & Organisations
There are a range of business groups and organisations in Central Otago for networking, advice and business support. Find out details of when and where they meet and how you can contact them. Read More

Economic Development Strategy
The Economic Development strategy’s key purpose is to help the Central Otago community focus on issues that impact on our economic and social well-being, and to suggest some of the actions we can take over the next few years to address them. Read More
Central Otago Food & Wine
Central Otago Food & Wine Central Otago is a place of sheer indulgence – whether it’s fine dining, a casual al-fresco lunch or café culture. You will be spoilt for choice when enjoying local fare and award winning wines at the great selection of cafés, restaurants, cellar doors and country pubs. Read More

Central Otago Towns
Central Otago Towns To travel to Central Otago is to journey into New Zealand’s golden heartland. Its many towns and settlements are founded on the pioneering spirit and back-breaking toil of farming run-holders and adventure-seeking gold miners. These places lie nestled amid the grandeur of towering mountain ranges, stunning rocky tors, sweeping plains, valleys, gorges and meandering and mighty rivers. Read More

Cycle Central Otago
Cycle Central Otago The entire region is criss-crossed with smaller cycling and mountain biking trails for the adventurous or the leisure cyclist and there are lengths to suit any time you might have available. Whether you’re looking to take a holiday with the family, a weekend with friends or a romantic escape, cycling in Central Otago offers something different and memorable. Read More
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