Our economic profile

An aerial view over the Lismore region.

Lismore is a city located in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, with a population of 44,344 (2021, ABS Data).

It covers an area of 1,267 square kilometres and generates almost $2.5 billion in gross regional product annually.

The city is home to over 4,000 businesses and more than 23,000 jobs, and is accessible by daily flights to Sydney and the motorway to Brisbane. International flights are also available from the nearby Gold Coast.

The Lismore City Economic Profile is a comprehensive, independent analysis of the local economy, derived from official sources and robust economic modelling. It combines 11 data sets and can be used by a wide range of audiences, including government, community groups, investors, businesses, and the general public. It covers various aspects of the economy, such as gross regional product, local jobs, local businesses, employment, unemployment, population, building approvals, industry structure, and more. The platform also delivers a community profile, social atlas and population forecast.

Lismore City Economic Profile

The Manager Destination and Economy can provide specific economic and event impact assessments upon request via business@lismore.nsw.gov.au.  

Economic snapshot

The Lismore region has a diversified economy, including significant contributions from health care and social assistance, education and training, retail trade and construction.

It has a large number of registered businesses and a Gross Regional Product of $2.43 billion (2021, ABR Data).

The region has a strong healthcare sector, anchored by the Northern NSW Local Health District generating over 6,700 local jobs (2021, ABR Data), as well as a well-established education and training sector anchored by Southern Cross University.

Lismore is known for its strong arts and culture scene and diverse agricultural industries, including blueberries, macadamia and wood products. Manufacturing growth is seen in food production, primary metal and metal products.

Employment and regional benefits

The total workforce of the Lismore LGA is 20,730 (2021, NIEIR).

Lismore's major employment sectors include health, education, social services, retail trade, with growth experienced in construction, finance, insurance, property, and business services.
The city is home to one of the highest percentages of bachelor's and postgraduate degree holders in the Northern Rivers NSW region and the most vocational workers in the area.

Regional benefits

Lismore City and surrounding villages in the Lismore Local Government Area (LGA) offer attractive natural and commercial benefits for living and working in the region.

The city is well-situated for professional services, infrastructure investment, and development, providing jobs, growth, and sustainability throughout the LGA.

Advantages include: proximity to major transport corridors, south-east Queensland, suitable land for residential and industrial development, and regional reputation and amenity.

The economy is diversified with many key industries, strong industry leaders, access to business support services and mutually supportive business culture.

The community offers a sub-tropical climate, proximity to world-famous hinterland and coastal areas, an enviable natural environment, affordable housing, key services in health, retail, education and recreation and a strong sense of community and cultural diversity.

Our visitors

Over a five year total up to 2021/22, the total tourism sales across the Lismore LGA contributed $132.5 million to the local economy.

International visitors numbered 36,406, averaging a stay of 13.1 days and were likely to be visiting on holidays, accounting for 63.3% of all visitors to the LGA.  

From the Mayor

Welcome to the heart of the Northern Rivers. 

Lismore and its villages have so much to offer, on every level. From a dynamic and diverse education system that offers opportunities from preschool through to tertiary study and a world class health system to retail and hospitality sectors that are as inspiring as they are diverse, as well as some amazing industries that cater for our region, our state, and in some cases, the world.
We are the gateway to some of Australia’s hidden natural gems. Along with the Nightcap National Park, with Minyon Falls as its breath-taking centrepiece, there are so many places to visit and explore. Take a drive to Nimbin and embrace the village atmosphere as you enjoy the hospitality of the locals, or take a walk along the Wilson River which is literally on the doorstep of Lismore’s CBD. 
We are very proud of our farming heritage with Norco Dairy Co-Op being established more than 120 years ago and still 100% farmer owned. There are also many artisan producers in our region that form a vibrant market scene with some also finding their way into mainstream retail outlets. Blueberries, macadamias, coffee and avocadoes are just some of the produce our region is renowned for. 
Our CBD is leading the resurgence in our region. There is a vibrant and diverse selection of cafes, restaurants and pubs, catering for all tastes and budgets. The retail sector is expanding and evolving, and we are the commercial centre for the region. Lismore has a thriving cultural scene, headlined by NORPA, which brings internationally renowned performers to our region as well is being one of regional Australia’s only theatre company that produces original works. Along with iconic festivals, such as Eat the Street and the Lismore Lantern Parade, there really is something for everyone. 
Lismore has some of the best sporting facilities in regional Australia. Many international, national and state organisations utilise these world class facilities to host tournaments throughout the year. From baseball, hockey and cricket to AFL and Rugby League, many sporting codes come to Lismore to enjoy the country hospitality to sold out crowds. 
As the Mayor of Lismore, it is a pleasure to welcome you to our region. Embrace, enjoy and discover everything we have to offer. 
Cr Steve Krieg

Mayor of Lismore