18/03/2021 - 15:16

Population growth stalls in pandemic economy

18/03/2021 - 15:16

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Western Australia’s population grew by 3,569 people in the September quarter, while Australia had its first population drop in a century.

Perth's population grew while the national figures stalled. Photo: Matt Mckenzie

Western Australia’s population grew by 3,569 people in the September quarter, while Australia had its first population drop in a century.

About 1,685 Western Australians moved overseas and 631 people from interstate moved west, while births and deaths netted out to 4,623 in WA.

Australia-wide, the population fell 4,200 to be an estimated 25,693,059 people at the end of September.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said this was the first quarterly drop in more than a century.

December 1916, during WW1, was the most recent previous time population fell, the ABS said.

“Over the year to September, Australia’s population grew by 220,500 people, the fewest in 15.5,” Commsec senior economist Ryan Felsman said.

“Overall, the annual population growth rate eased from 1.31 to 0.87 per cent, the lowest annual growth rate since at least June 1982 when (ABS) records began. 

“Natural increase contributed 61.4 per cent to the annual lift in population with 38.6 per cent from net overseas migration.

“Over the year to September, population growth was strongest in Queensland (1.33 per cent), followed by Western Australia (1.24 per cent), Tasmania (0.99 per cent), the ACT (0.80 per cent), South Australia (0.72 per cent), Victoria (0.71 per cent), NSW (0.62 per cent) and the Northern Territory (0.18 per cent).

“Net overseas migration totalled 85,100 people over the year to September, the lowest intake of net overseas arrivals in 22 years, with 365,700 arrivals and 280,600 departures.”

The low population growth nationally will have a number of impacts.

It will mean GDP growth would need to be driven by improvements on a per capita basis, rather than through higher population.

On the east coast, it may reduce requirements for infrastructure investment.

But property developers could also see lower demand for new housing.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options