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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Population growth steadies at +313,000

Population growth steadies

The ABS released its Australian Demographic Statistics figures for September 2015 which confirmed the expected steadying of population growth at an annual total of +313,200, with government projections showing a fresh increase expected through 2016.

Net overseas migration has slowed significantly since the end of the mining construction boom, though it is now flattening out. In fact, it never really pulled back at all in the largest cities, but the slowdown has been felt in the resources states.


The talk of population growth "dropping off a cliff" was all a bit dramatic, with the estimated resident population of Australia having now fizzed past 24 million, just at a slightly less breakneck pace than before. Compare the rate of population growth to forecasts made in 1999, for example.


There had been an issue related to the collation of data for births in New South Wales, but it seems that data entry staff got up to speed in the June quarter, so this anomaly should now wash through. No revisions were made to the quarterly data, however, so it all looks like a bit of a tennis ball in a hosepipe.


While alas we expect the number of "departures" to increase over time, the rolling annual deaths total has declined across the past two quarters, while the blip in the births figures is also visible here.


With population growth of around 82,300 in the September quarter, it seems that the rate of population growth has now steadied in line with DIBP forecasts.


The annual rate of population growth is bottoming out at around 313,000, roughly in line with projections - which project an increase in 2016, largely driven by a higher intake of international students.


The big picture is that population growth has remained tremendously strong in the largest capital cities, but has slowed dramatically in resources states and many of the regions. Next up, I'll take a look at the state by state trends.