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Australia’s Latest Population Trends

Australia’s Latest Population Trends
March 25, 2019 Propertyology Head of Research and REIA Hall of Famer, Simon Pressley

Australia’s population increased by 1.6 per cent (395,101 people) over the 12 months ending September 2018.

In just one year, Australia’s total population grew by the size of Canberra, the nation’s seventh largest city. That’s a lot of demand for housing.

Victoria (139,675), New South Wales (119,527) and Queensland (86,001) were again the biggest contributors of population growth.

The annual growth rate was highest in Victoria (2.2 per cent), Australian Capital Territory (1.9 per cent), and Queensland (1.7 per cent).

The growth rate slipped back to 1.5 per cent in New South Wales. 74 per cent of the state’s total population growth of 119,527 came from overseas migration while 22,113 residents migrated away from NSW to another state.

The rate of population growth accelerated in Tasmania (1.2 per cent). The state’s population increase over the year ending September 2018 was its highest in two decades. Driven by a combination of lifestyle, housing affordability and a strong economy, a significant 39 per cent of the growth came from people relocating from the mainland.

Western Australia’s annual population growth rate was 0.9 per cent. The Q3 2018 increase of 7,277 was the state’s highest in 5 years.

In South Australia, 13,153 of the 13,656 population increase over the last 12 months was from overseas migration.

Queensland continues to be Australia’s biggest beneficiary of interstate migration, gaining 24,316 people from other states over the last 12 months. The next biggest beneficiaries were Victoria (13,985 people) and Tasmania (2,370 people).

Since the downturn of the mining construction boom, Victoria has consistently held the mantle as Australia’s biggest population draw card. The 139,675 increase during the year ending September 2018 is about as many people as Darwin’s entire population.


Related story: Brutal truth about Sydney and Melbourne


The total population of 8.23 million people in New South Wales is more than Queensland and Western Australia combined. Interestingly, the combined land mass of Queensland and Western Australia is 5-times the size of New South Wales.

It’s a sad state of affairs in the Top End, highlighted by the fact that 445 less people live there now than a year ago.


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