Growth snapshot: Geelong 2016–2021

  • Geelong’s Gross Regional Product outpaces Victoria’s and Australia’s at 3.7 percent
  • Population growth jumped 2.7 percent beating the national and state averages
  • Local attraction – 78 percent of residents worked in the region in 2021
A new KPMG report, Geelong Economic Blueprint 2023/2024, provides a snapshot of the opportunities for business and the community in Geelong, currently one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.KPMG interviewed 56 local business and community leaders about their perceptions of Geelong’s growth potential and carried out key demographic and economic research to provide a detailed picture of the city and region – and the opportunities ahead.

Paul Robson, KPMG’s Geelong Geographic Leader said: “The report presents the insights of local leaders capturing a vibrant picture of the Greater Geelong Region, its businesses, people, and the community. A key aspect supporting their commentary is the prediction of growth towards half a million people in the next ten years plus. The overall picture suggests the city and region have an exciting and productive future.”
Naomi Mitchell, National Managing Partner, KPMG Enterprise said the report underscored the benefits of Geelong as a centre for business enterprise.
“Geelong is one of Australia’s fastest growing regions,” she said. “The population of the region was almost 330,000 in 2021, and Geelong’s average Gross Regional Product per Capita at almost 5% is expanding faster than both the Victorian and national averages. There are a significant number of both mature businesses and growing enterprises especially in the local healthcare, property, education, and manufacturing sectors.”
Mr Robson highlighted the findings that indicate Geelong has a strong business footprint. There was 18% growth in the number of businesses in the five years from 2016 to 2021, and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of the local economy. He highlighted the finding in the same period of 33% growth in business entries into Geelong versus the Victorian growth number of 23%.
“Geelong is an emerging leader with a significant business footprint. Industries with the highest growth in the five years to 2021 included construction, transport, postal and warehousing, professional services, scientific and technical services, and healthcare and social assistance,”
Mr Robson added that Geelong was unique amongst Australia’s regional cities because it had a diverse group of industries. “Geelong has all the elements for sustained business growth,” he said.
He added: “It was great to see that a majority of the Geelong Economic Blueprint report participants identified ‘shared prosperity’ as one of the major measures of successful business growth.”