Migration Fuels Australia’s Record Population Growth in 2022-23

⚡️ Highlights:

1. Australia’s population has experienced a significant increase, with a growth rate of 2.4% since 2022, adding more people than ever before.

2. The main driver of this population growth is overseas migration, which has seen a record high of +518,100 in the 12 months to June 2023, surpassing previous records.

3. Discussions about the sustainability of this high migration intake have arisen, and the government plans to reduce the migration intake. However, the out-migration component is influenced by factors beyond government control.

4. The states and territories in Australia have all experienced population changes, with New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria (Vic) receiving the majority of overseas migration. Victoria, in particular, has seen a resurgence in population growth due to the return of international students.

5. Western Australia (WA) has become the fastest-growing state or territory, surpassing Queensland (Qld), with a population growth rate of 3.1%. Net Interstate Migration remains negative for NSW and positive for Queensland, while South Australia (SA) and Tasmania have experienced fluctuations in interstate migration. All states and territories have positive natural increase, indicating potential population growth in the absence of migration.

Demographic Shifts and Trends Shaping Australia’s Future

Demographer Glenn Capuano delves into the latest population growth figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for the financial year 2022-23. These figures highlight a significant shift in Australia’s demographic landscape, driven primarily by strong overseas migration.

Record-Breaking Population Increase

Australia’s population experienced a remarkable increase of 624,145 (2.4%) since 2022, reaching 26,638,544 by June 30th, 2023. This growth marks a dramatic change from the slowest population growth in over a century to one of the fastest, adding more people than ever before in the nation’s history.

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Overseas Migration as the Primary Driver

The primary catalyst for this unprecedented population growth is overseas migration. Net Overseas Migration (NOM) for the 12 months to June 2023 was +518,100, surpassing the previous record set in 2009 by more than 100,000. This figure is nearly double the average migration rate of the 10 years pre-COVID, reflecting a significant shift in migration patterns post-pandemic.

State and Territory Population Changes

The impact of high overseas migration is evident across all states and territories, with the largest share being absorbed by NSW and Victoria. Western Australia emerged as the fastest-growing state or territory with a 3.1% population growth, surpassing Queensland. Net Interstate Migration trends show NSW typically negative, Queensland positive, and other states oscillating. However, the pandemic has altered these trends, with Queensland’s interstate migration returning closer to normal.

Natural Increase and Population Dynamics

All states and territories recorded positive natural increases, indicating that population growth would continue even in the absence of migration. However, Tasmania, being the oldest state, is close to zero, with deaths nearly balancing births. Australia’s birth rate is relatively low, but so is the death rate, suggesting that it would take several decades with no migration for the population to age enough to drop the natural increase to negative.

Implications for Local Government Areas

These state and territory figures will be incorporated into .id’s community and economic profiles, providing valuable insights for local government areas and smaller regions. The full 2022-23 year update for these areas is eagerly awaited and will offer a comprehensive view of the demographic changes at a more granular level.

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The ABS’s population growth figures for 2022-23 underscore a significant demographic shift in Australia, largely driven by overseas migration. Understanding these changes is crucial for policymakers, urban planners, and demographers as they navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by Australia’s evolving population landscape.

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