Australia's Demographic Growth Slows: HIA


The latest official demographic statistics, released last week, showed Australia’s rate of population growth slowed in 2014, according to the Housing Institute of Australia.

The HIA said that this development coincided with a period when the nation built more new homes than in any other year on record.

"This dynamic has generated some interest, particularly in light of this week’s data updates being ‘housing-heavy’, with releases from the HIA, the ABS, and CoreLogic RP Data," the HIA said.

The ABS figures show Australia’s population reached 23.63 million at the end of 2014.

This was an increase of around 330,000 people over the year and amounts to 1.4 per cent growth.

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After reaching a peak rate of 1.8 per cent in 2012 (when the population increased by 400,500 people), the pace of population growth subsequently slowed throughout 2013 and 2014.

The HIA said the deceleration in growth has been a focal point of commentary following the ABS population release.

"Much has been written about this aggregate profile – we are not going to revisit that here, rather, we’re considering the internal migration and population dynamics currently at play," the HIA said.

"The picture portrayed by the national-level figures is not representative of population growth and migration patterns in individual jurisdiction around the country.""The states and territories had quite divergent experiences with regard to overseas migration, and when delving down below the national level there is the added complication of interstate migration flows."Population growth in New South Wales and Victoria has performed particularly strongly during 2014.

In contrast, Western Australia and Queensland are in the midst of a post-mining boom economic adjustment and these saw the rate of population growth slow.

As a smaller and less diversified economy than WA or Queensland, the Northern Territory is more susceptible to population shocks and the post mining boom adjustment appears to have arrived in the form of an exodus.

Demographic development in South Australia and Tasmania reflect their status as the nation’s two most underperforming state economies.

These two states experienced significant population losses as a relatively large number of residents moved interstate.

SA and Tasmania also experienced a lower net contribution to their respective populations from overseas migration.

Similarly, the Australian Capital Territory recorded relatively significant losses through interstate migration, although this was partially offset by a slight lift in net overseas migration.

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