Tonight, at around 10pm, Australia’s population will reach 23 million.
Booming seems to be the word a lot of people are using – births are outnumbering deaths two to one and migration has increased 14 per cent over the past year. Our population is now growing by more than 1,000 people per day – or a new Gold Coast every 19 months. This is at odds with the world average, which is growing at 1.1 per cent per annum compared to our 1.7 per cent, and significantly greater than the U.S and Britain, growing at just 0.9 and 0.6 per cent respectively. What is more surprising is that we’re outsripping countries with traditionally high growth rates, such as India’s 1.4 per cent.
Net migration has been the primary driver of our recent growth, with its proportion increasing from 54 per cent a year ago to 60 per cent, whereas natural migration’s proportion has declined from 46 to 40 per cent, despite our fertility rate remaining stable at 1.9 in recent years. However, births still hit a record high last year, surpassing 300,000 for the first time, with twice as many births (303,600) as deaths (149,100).
Why has there been so much media exposure about our recent population growth? Looking at our history on a timeline gives insight into this.
In 1918, Australia’s population was just 5 million. It passed 10 million in 1959, 15 million in 1982, and 20 million in 2003.
ABS figures show that around 180,000 people move to Australia each year and estimates are that if current migration and birth rates do not change, the population will be 35 million in 2056, and 44 million in 2101. However, many demographers are forecasting that we will hit the 40 million mark well before the ABS predictions, with some predicting this as early as 2050.
So what does all this mean and why are we writing about it?
Well, obviously all of these people will want somewhere to live, which will put greater demand on residential property. Investing in a well positioned property with a strong exit strategy will put you in good stead for the future.