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General information

Ballarat is Victoria’s largest inland centre, located in the Central Highlands region of Victoria, about 110 kilometres west of Melbourne. Ballarat is predominantly a residential area but also has substantial industrial, commercial and rural areas. It contains a number of lakes, reserves and parks. Industrial areas are located mainly in the inner north areas of Alfredton, Delacombe, Mitchell Park and Wendouree. The rural areas are located mainly in the far west and north, although many of these have a large element of rural residential and rural living.


Major features of the City include the University of Ballarat, Ballarat Base Hospital, St John of God Hospital, Sovereign Hill, Eureka Centre, the retail area of Ballarat City Centre, Ballarat Botanical Gardens, Mount Buninyong, Lake Wendouree, Lake Burrumbeet, Lake Learmonth and the Avenue of Honour and Arch of Victory. The City is served by the Western Highway, the Midland Highway, the Glenelg Highway, the Sunraysia Highway and the Ararat-Ballarat-Melbourne railway line.

Population & Demograpics

Ballarat has 98, 684 residents (2013)


The major differences between the age structure of City of Ballarat and Regional Victoria were:

  • A larger percentage of 15 to 24 year olds (15.5% compared to 13.5%)
  • A smaller percentage of 25 to 34 year olds (12.8% compared to 14.3%)
  • A similar percentage of 60 to 69 year olds (9.6% compared to 9.7%)


An analysis of the ocupations held by the resident population in City of Ballarat in 2013 shows the three most popular occupation sectors were:

  • Professionals (8,071 persons or 21.0%)  
  • Technicians and Trades Workers (5,848 persons or 15.2%) 
  • Clerical and Administrative Workers (5,130 persons or 13.4%)   

In combination these three occupations employed 19,049 people in total or 49.6% of the employed resident population.


In comparison, Regional Victoria employed 22.3% Professionals; 13.9% Technicians and Trades Workers; and 14.4% Clerical and Administrative Workers


The major differences between the jobs held by the population of City of Ballarat and Regional Victoria were:

  • A larger percentage of Sales Workers (11.1% compared to 9.7%)
  • A larger percentage of Community and Personal Service Workers (11.0% compared to 9.3%)
  • A smaller percentage of Managers (10.3% compared to 13.2%)

 Australian Bureau of Statistics 28/03/2013


Ballarat in Business

Ballarat has traditionally been a city that prospered on mineral and agricultural based resources, however this has changed. Manufacturing, tourism, health and community services, education and retailing are now the key industries in the city. These industries, along with the banking and finance sector and government services are strengthening Ballarats role as a regional service provider.

IT & Communication

Victoria is experiencing strong growth in the information and communication technologies industry. While Melbourne is becoming the centre for managerial functions in the industry, data processing services and some research and development are dispersing to regional centres such as Ballarat. The partnerships developed with the Greenhill Enterprise Centre and University of Ballarat are helping Ballarat develop more towards a knowledge-based city. The 'Learning City' program is encouraging continuous lifelong learning for all of Ballarats residents. In being a 'learning city' Ballarat will find and maintain its place in the global economy by challenging what we are doing and how we can do it better.

 The information technology sector is emerging to become a significant industry within the region. The municipality hosts a modern communications network that provides easy data exchange worldwide. Strategic partnerships with the locally growing information technology sector and tertiary institutions are adding to Ballarats increasing importance as a knowledge centre within Victoria. Ballarat is also developing as a televillage through which the percentage of Ballarat homes that are online and the number of business transactions undertaken by e-commerce will increase.


The municipality incorporates land which is part of a broader high quality farming area. Agricultural production within the City of Ballarat in 1997 was valued at almost $27.5 million with pigs, potatoes and wool being the highest valued commodities. Ballarat is also home to 350 (2012) manufacturing business producing a wide range of products for local and international markets.


Ballarat is one of Victorias premier tourist destinations attracting visitors for our gold and architectural heritage, parks and gardens, art and cultural activities and as a gateway to western Victoria. Approximately 1.8 million domestic day trip visitors come to Ballarat each year, contributing $139 million to the local economy. Of the 1.1 million overseas visitors that come to Victoria annually at least 13% visit Ballarat. Overall, 4.8 million day trippers and 2.2 million overnight visitors toured the Goldfields region (of which Ballarat is a part). Major events such as the Begonia Festival, the Royal South Street Competition and sporting events involve both local people and participants from a large catchment. 


Ballarat is a major regional retail centre with approximately 186,000m of retail floorspace. This figure is expected to increase to 232,930m by 2021.

Ballarat is well known for its schools and hospitals which service a wide area. Its recreation facilities are also an important community asset. Ballarat businesses offer a broad range of products which includes catering for the rural communitys needs.