Australia’s growth moderates, Victoria fastest growing state
The ABS released their quarterly Australian Demographic Statistics publication on 17 December. This is the most important release of the year because it contains the end of June estimates which is what all annual population estimates are based on.
In June 2015, Australia’s population stood at 23,781,169, up 317,083 from the previous year.
This is a growth rate of 1.35%, which is still strong in an international context, but it’s the lowest growth rate since 2005-6 for Australia.
The lower rate is due to lower international migration. Net overseas migration (which is people moving to Australia minus those leaving) was 168,000 for the financial year, well below the peak of almost 300,000 reached in 2008-9. Because of this, natural increase (more births than deaths) now makes up almost half (148,300, or 47%) of Australia’s total population growth.
At a state level, Victoria is now the fastest growing state by a significant margin (1.7% growth), with WA (the fastest for many years) dropping right back to 1.3% for the year, just below the national average. NSW and the ACT are at 1.4%, while the traditionally fast growing Queensland slips further to 1.25% growth. SA and Tas remain the slowest growing parts of the country, with growth rates of 0.8% and 0.4% respectively.
|STATE/TERRITORY||POPULATION JUNE 2015||GROWTH FROM JUNE 2014||% GROWTH FROM JUNE 2014|
|New South Wales||7,618,241||104,266||1.39%|
|Australian Capital Territory||390,757||5,360||1.39%|
For the record keepers, it’s not very common that Victoria is Australia’s fastest growing state by percentage. In fact, this is the first time in 73 years it has happened! The last time Victoria was the fastest growing state for a year ended June was in 1942, when it had 1.5% growth in a year of very slow national growth in the middle of World War II. That was the only time in the 20th Century. Prior to that, population growth was only recorded at the end of the year, but it happened in 1888 with 5.2% growth. It did happen every year during the 1850s gold rush, however with some phenomenal percentages (72% growth in 1852 for instance!).
These figures are based on Historical Population Statistics, Australia, also an ABS publication.
WA’s growth has fallen so much, because compared to just a couple of years ago, the rate of overseas migration has fallen substantially, back to around 16,000 per year, from over 50,000 per year. And there are now more people moving interstate from WA than moving there. This is due to the end of the mining boom and associated development.
Queensland’s interstate migration has also fallen but remains positive. In fact Queensland and Victoria were the only states to record positive interstate migration in 2015.
These are of course preliminary figures, and will be revised after the 2016 Census results are out. After last Census, the ABS revised total Australian population figures down by about 300,000 people.