The latest population figures: Australia down, Victoria up
Victoria emerged as the fastest growing state (since 1888!) by population in the latest quarterly issue of Australian Demographic Statistics (3101.0). What are some other interesting population trends for Australia?
Australia’s population grew by 330,000 people in calendar year 2014, to 23,625,600 – a growth rate of 1.42%, the lowest rate for 5 years, and one of the lowest rates in the last 15. 44% of this is due to natural increase (excess of births over deaths) while the remaining 56% is due to net overseas migration.
The big story nationally is a drop in Net Overseas Migration. The December quarter showed this figure at only 32,521 (this is the number of in-migrants minus the number of out-migrants) – the lowest quarter just marginally since June 2010 (32,000), and before that, to June 2006 (21,000). So less people are coming to Australia or more people are leaving.
|Population at end Dec quarter 2014||Change over previous year||Change over previous year %|
|New South Wales||7,565,500||103,000||1.4|
|Australian Capital Territory||387,300||4,300||1.1|
Source: ABS, Australian Demographic Statistics, December 2014, cat. no. 3101.0
The state figures are where a lot of the interest is though. Western Australia’s population growth has fallen a lot. Just a year ago this was 3.3%. It’s now 1.6%, due to a huge decline in net overseas migration, and interstate migration turning negative – ie. more people are leaving WA for other states than coming in.
Victoria is now the fastest growing state. Believe it or not, this is the first time this has happened in a calendar year since 1888! (During World War II, Victoria was the fastest growing state in the year ended June 1942, but not in the year ended December).
It’s not so much due to Victoria’s population growth increasing, but from other states declining.
Victoria is now getting a larger share of interstate migration – NIM was 9,300 people into Victoria in the calendar year 2014. This is the highest in at least 40 years. Nevertheless, this makes up less than 10% of population growth, with most coming through overseas migration (which at 56,000 for the year hasn’t dropped off in Victoria as much as nationally), and natural increase.
Western Australia is now losing population interstate (just slightly, at -400 for the year), while overseas migration has dropped right back to 30 year averages, and now sits at 18,000 for the year.
Queensland is chugging along at 1.4% growth, much lower than a few years ago. New South Wales growth remains strong and added 103,000 people in 2014, more than any other state. Net overseas migration is still strong into NSW, but they still lose people interstate, increasingly to Victoria).
Local areas, including capital cities, have not had an update in these population numbers. These are only updated once per yer, for the June quarter, which is normally released in March. The Age incorrectly stated that the Melbourne figures are for the December quarter – they are for the previous June and there is no new data for Melbourne and Sydney in this release.