Population Growth – Where is it happening?

The population of Australia is projected to increases by 1,037 people daily in 2016. 8116116_l

Australia’s population is likley to increase by 378,476 people over the year and reach 24, 546,779 by the beginning of 2017.

The natural increase is expected to be positive, as the number of births will exceed the number of deaths by 164,103.

And if external migration remains at the same level as last year, our population will be increased by 214, 373 due to migration.

Population dynamics in 2016

According to the ABS,we’re having:

  • one birth every 1 minute and 46 seconds,
  • one death every 3 minutes and 27 seconds,
  • a net gain of one international migration every 2 minutes and 39 seconds, leading to
  • an overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 32 seconds.

Where are they all going?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports the following breakdown of population growth of 317,000 people in the year to September 2015:

Capital Cities: 263,000 83%

  • Melbourne 91,600 29% aust population
  • Sydney 83,300 26%
  • Brisbane 35,200 11%
  • Perth 31,100 10%
  • Adelaide 12,100 4%
  • Canberra 5,400 2%
  • Darwin 2,600 1%
  • Hobart 1,700 1%

Regional Australia:  54,000 17%

  • Gold Coast/Tweed 10,800 3%
  • Sunshine Coast 4,870 2%
  • Newcastle 3,960 1%
  • Wollongong 3,330 1%
  • Geelong 3,240 1%
  • Central Coast NSW 2,200 1%
One of the more interesting demographic trends in the last couple of years has been the turnaround in the fortunes of Sydney and Perth.
Just a few years ago Perth was the fastest growing capital city in Australia, recording historically high volumes of growth. The latest ABS population data shows that population growth has halved in just the space of two years.
On the other hand, after years of moderate growth, Sydney is going gangbusters.

The bottom line:

Economic growth leads to job growth, which leads to population growth, which leads to rising demand  for properties (both rental and owner occupier) and this eventually leads to property price growth.

That’s why I spend a lot of time  researching and writing about the economy.

The figures above clearly show that  Melbourne and Sydney lead the pack, with more than half of Australia’s population growth occurring in our 2 big capital cities. 

They also confirm  why I continue to recommend avoiding investing in regional Australia or in short-term hotspots.

For example, recently there have been a number of people recommending investing in Hobart because it is had a short period of price growth (up 4.8% over the last year.)

In reality Hobart is only playing catch up with Hobart’s capital growth not kept up with inflation since the end of the last property cycle.

While Hobart is a lovely place to live, with a total increase in Hobart’s population of 1,700 people over the last year, that’s hardly the stuff that makes property prices grow.

It’s much the same in most regional locations of Australia.

For mine, as a property investor I’d only be investing where there are multiple property growth drivers, tow of which are sustained economic growth and long term population growth.



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Kate Forbes


Kate Forbes is a National Director Property Strategy at Metropole. She has 15 years of investment experience in financial markets in two continents, is qualified in multiple disciplines and is also a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Visit Metropole Melbourne

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