In 1881 Feilding had a population of about 1,000. By 1921 it was 4,500, 6,000 in 1951, 8,000 in 1961, 10,000 in 1971, 11,500 in 1981 and 14,043 in 1996. We can recognise the strong growth in the baby boom years, and subsequent.
From 1996 to 2001 Feilding’s population however dropped to 13,641. It lifted slightly to 13,890 in 2006 which was still below the 1996 population. It wasn’t until the 2013 census that the population rose to 14,826, which was well above the 1996 figure. A declining population is bad for business, bad for the economy and leads to less people having to pay for the services that a town requires, with large rises in rates as one consequence.
We currently have an estimated population of 16,600 – 16,800, which represents strong growth in recent years. The outlook for growth looks positive. Growth brings new challenges in having to pay for the new infrastructure required, but ultimately well managed growth is good for business and the economy, and leads to spreading the load for town services over more people with consequent lower rises in rates.