Falling Overseas Migration Sees Population Growth Slow


New research shows the pace of  population growth continued to ease during the 2014/15 year, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

The ABS figures show Australia’s population reached 23.78 million at the end of June 2015. This was an increase of around 317,000 people over the year and amounts to 1.4 per cent annual growth. Net overseas migration resulted in an additional 168,183 people during the 2014/15 year, but this number was down by 11.4 per cent compared with the previous year. Natural population growth (births minus deaths) resulted in an increase in the population of 148,900 people, this represents a decline of 5.1 per cent on the year ago level.

“The pace of population growth has gradually been slowing since 2012 and today’s figures confirm this trend continued in the first half of 2015. During the 2014/15 year we saw a lower contribution from ‘natural’ population growth, although the overall slowing was primarily driven by a reduced contribution from net overseas migration,” said HIA Economist Geordan Murray.

“While the overall rate of population growth has slowed, there are variations around the states which are generally aligned with the divergent performances of the state economies. Both New South Wales and Victoria hosted the strongest rates of population growth in the year to June 2015, recording growth of 1.4 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively. Nevertheless both were marginally slower than a year ago.

“The resource states that experienced strong growth during the mining boom are now seeing the back of the wave. Population growth in Western Australia has dropped to the slowest rate since 2003 and is experiencing a growing net outflow of interstate migrants. The Northern Territory has followed the same path as Western Australia, while Queensland’s population growth rate has dropped to its slowest rate in more than 25 years."Elsewhere, the rate of population growth in South Australia slowed to 0.8 per cent, while the annual rate of population growth in the ACT increased to 1.4 per cent, and increased in Tasmania to 0.4 per cent.

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