The annual rate of national population growth has steadied recently.
It was estimated that at the end of the September 2017 quarter, the national population was 24,702,851 persons.
Australia’s population increased by 1.6% or 395,613 persons over the 12 months to September 2017.
While net overseas migration has accelerated, natural increase has slowed.
Net overseas migration is the main driver of the strong rate of population growth
Population growth nationally is comprised of net overseas migration as well as the natural increase in the population (births minus deaths).
State based migration also includes net interstate migration which cancels out at a national level.
Net overseas migration was recorded at 250,127 persons over the 12 months to September 2017 which was 15.4% higher than at the same time in 2016 and at its highest level since September 2009.
Natural increase fell by -4.0% over the year and was recorded at 145,486 persons.
The national rate of annual population growth peaked at 2.2% in December 2008 when the population increased by 459,504 persons over the quarter, of which net overseas migration was recorded at 315,687 persons.
Although the rate of population growth and overseas migration has slowed relative to the 2008 peak, it remains elevated and is much higher than in most other developed countries throughout the world.
Victoria remains the population growth powerhouse of the nation
The population of New South Wales increased by 1.6% or 123,105 persons over the 12 months to September 2017.
The annual population increase was 5.5% higher over the year and slightly lower than its record high.
Victoria’s population increased by a nation-leading 2.4% over the 12 months to September 2017 with the population increasing by 147,424 residents over the year.
The total change in population over the year was 1.2% higher than over the previous year.
With an increase of 81,271 persons over the year to September 2017, Queensland’s population increased by 1.7% over the year.
The 81,271 person increase in population was the greatest annual population increase for the state since June 2013 and 18.8% higher than the population increase a year earlier.
South Australia’s population increased by 10,799 persons over the 12 months to September 2017 resulting in a population growth rate of 0.6%.
The 10,799 person increase in population was slightly higher than the previous quarter but -3.4% lower than over the previous year.
The population of Western Australia increased by 22,032 persons or 0.9% over the past year.
Although Western Australia is seeing a historically slow rate of population growth, the state’s annual change in population lifted (from a low base) by 33.0% over the past year.
The Tasmanian population increased by 3,289 persons or 0.6% over the 12 months to September 2017. The 3,745 increase was the greatest annual population increase since December 2010.
Northern Territory’s population increased by just 73 persons over the 12 months to June 2017, a -92.7% decline on the increase a year earlier.
In the Australian Capital Territory, the rate of population growth was recorded at 1.8% over the past year resulting in an increase in population of 7,165 persons.
More than three quarters of net overseas migration has been into NSW or Vic
Most of those people immigrating to Australia continue to choose to settle in either NSW or Vic with net overseas migration over the past year recorded at record highs of 98,762 persons in NSW and 88,521 persons in Vic.
NSW accounted for 39.5% of net overseas migration nationally and Vic accounted for 35.4%.
If you add in the 12.5% in Queensland, the three most populous states accounted for 87.4% of national net overseas migration.
With net overseas migration of 98,782 persons over the past year, New South Wales recorded its greatest volume of net overseas migrants on record and the number was 17.3% higher compared to the previous year.
The net overseas migration of 88,521 persons into Victoria over the past year was the greatest number on record and 15.3% higher than the previous year.
Queensland’s net overseas migration was recorded at 31,374 persons over the past year which was 14.1% higher than the number of overseas migrants at the same time a year earlier and the highest number since March 2014.
Over the past year there were 11,263 net overseas migrants to South Australia which was 4.6% higher than the number a year earlier.
Net overseas migration to Western Australia is well below historic peaks however, the 13,800 net migrants to the state over the past year was 7.7% higher than over the previous year and the greatest number since December 2014.
Net overseas migration for Tasmania was recorded at 1,948 persons which was 45.8% higher than a year earlier and its highest annual number since September 2009.
The 940 net overseas migrants to the Northern Territory over the past year was 8.7% higher than the number over the previous year but still well down on recent levels.
The Australian Capital Territory had net overseas migration of 3,492 persons over the past year which was 45.0% higher than the number over the previous year and the highest number since December 2009.
Queensland continues to lead the pack for net interstate migration
The net outflow of New South Wales residents to other states and territories was recorded at 16,433 persons over the past year, its greatest decline since December 2012.
Victoria recorded a net gain from interstate migration of 16,926 persons, that figure has now fallen for two consecutive quarters.
Net interstate migration to Queensland was recorded at 19,324 persons over the past year, its greatest increase since June 2008.
Annual net interstate migration to Queensland now leads the nation and has increased over each of the past 11 quarters.
South Australia recorded a loss of 5,847 persons over the past year due to net interstate migration which was the lowest annual outflow of residents from the state since December 2015.
After annual net interstate migration peaked at 11,425 persons in September 2012, Western Australia has recorded a loss of 11,581 residents over the past year, which is a slightly lower net loss than the record-high annual loss two quarters earlier.
Net interstate migration to Tasmania saw a net gain of 1,000 residents over the past year, which was its strongest net inflow since June 2009.
The net loss of 3,710 residents from the Northern Territory over the past year was its greatest outflow on record.
The Australian Capital Territory has recorded a net inflow of residents from other parts of the country of 321 persons over the past year, which was its lowest inflow since September 2016.
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