New data shows Australia is still seeing strong population growth

by Ray Clancy on September 24, 2015

in Australia

Australia is continuing to see strong population growth with a rise of over 300,000 in the 12 months to the end of March 2015, but slower on a quarterly basis.

The data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that Australia’s population reached 23,714,272, some 1.4% larger than 12 months previously.

hThe growth is based on one birth every minute and 46 seconds, one death every three minutes and 23 seconds, a net gain of one international migration every two minutes and 37 seconds, leading to an overall total population increase of one person every one minute and 32 seconds.

During the 1980s, 1990s and the first half of the 2000s, Australia’s population grew very steadily, with around 225,000 persons added to the population per year throughout that period.

Since that time, the number of people being added to the population has exceeded 300,000 persons per year, and this continued to be the case in the year to March 2015.

In the year to March 2015, the net overseas migration inflow of 173,054 persons accounted for more than half of the total growth in Australia’s population, while natural increase accounted for the remaining 142,898 persons added to the population during this period.

A breakdown of the data shows that across states population growth was varied, with the two major population centres, Victoria and New South Wales, recording the strongest growth rates at 1.7% and 1.4% respectively. Western Australiaís population also grew at 1.4%.

In Queensland the population grew by 1.3% and the Australian Capital Territory saw the same 1.3% level of growth while in South Australia the population increased by 0.8%, it was up by 0.3% in Tasmania and up by 0.2% in the Northern Territory.

However, the rate of growth, while historically strong, is still slower than in previous quarters and more people are moving to where there are jobs.

ABS spokesperson Denise Carlton pointed out that the figures show starkly the impact that the mining investment slowdown is having on resources focused Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Net overseas migration to Western Australia has dropped 71% over the past two years, while more people are leaving Western Australia for other states than moving to it from other states for the first time in more than 10 years.

The Northern Territory is faring even worse, with population growth of only 0.2%, its lowest in 11 years. “Net interstate migration losses were the greatest contributor to this slower growth, with the territory recording its largest ever interstate migration loss in the year to March 2015,” she explained.

Those leaving Western Australia and the Northern Territory are generally moving to Victoria and Queensland, which the ABS said are the only states experiencing a net gain from interstate migration.

But there are parts of Australia where no one wants to live. This week Betoota in Queensland was named the smallest ghost town in the country. The outpost officially has a population of zero.

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