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Aussie population soaring – ABS data

1 April 20160 comments
Australia's population reached 24 million this week with the proportion of Australians born overseas hitting a 120-year high

Australia’s population reached 24 million this week with the proportion of Australians born overseas hitting a 120-year high

Australia’s population topped 24 million this week with the proportion of Australians born overseas hitting a 120-year high, according to the latest batch of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) population data.

The percentage of Australian residents born overseas has increased every year for the past 15 years and, in June last year, reached 28.2 per cent, or 6.7 million people. This is the highest rate since the late 1800s.

People from Britain remained the largest group of overseas-born residents, forming 5.1 per cent of the Australian population, or 1.2 million people. This proportion has decreased slightly over the past decade.

New Zealand-born residents make up the next largest group (2.6 per cent), followed by China (2 per cent), India (1.8 per cent) and the Philippines and Vietnam (both 1 per cent).

The number of Australian residents born in India has almost tripled over the last 10 years to about 433,000. In the same period, residents born in China have more than doubled to almost 482,000.

An ABS spokeswoman the increasing median age of Italian-born migrants – from 64.7 years in 2005 to 69.3 years in 2015 – reflected a drop in recent migration from that country.

Conversely, the median age of Indian migrants had fallen in the same period from 37 to 33.4 years.

The ABS data, released on Wednesday, also shows Victoria again gained the most new residents from interstate last financial year, with a net gain of 10,200 people – this compares with 8800 the previous year.

Victoria also recorded the fastest and largest population growth of all Australian capital cities with 2.1 per cent increase representing 91,600 people.

Queensland came in second with 6400 interstate migrants, while NSW suffered a net loss of 6600. This loss was a stark reduction in the 25,600 people who left NSW for interstate a decade earlier.

NSW received the highest number of overseas migrants last financial year – 66,100 people. Tasmania received the lowest number, at 1000 people.

The ABS data also revealed that Australia’s population jumped from 23 million to 24 million in just two years and nine months and has doubled since 1968.

It revealed Sydney’s population will reach 5 million but that Melbourne is catching up and will overtake Sydney by the mid-2050s; at which time both cities will have 8 million-plus residents.

Australia’s overall population will hit 40 million by 2050 with a person being added every 1.31 minutes.

The data shows an Australian is born every 1.44 minutes and dies every 2.33 minutes while a migrant arrives every 2.39 minutes.


Laurie Nowell
AMES Australia Senior Journalist