There’s nothing unusual about the fact that our population growth has been one of the factors underpinning the Australian property markets.
And one of the reasons Melbourne’s property markets have confounded some commentators is Victoria’s strong population growth.
Around Australia Victorian mothers delivered a record crop of babies in 2012, combining with a resurgence of overseas migration to lift the state’s population growth to almost 100,000 a year, the Bureau of Statistics reports.
The bureau says 77,384 babies issued their first scream in our hospital wards last year – finally breaking the 40-year-old record set at the peak of the baby boom in 1971.
Victoria has more than its share of people in their 20s and 30s, but this is the first time it has led to an outsized birth rate.
Last year alone, there were 6326 or 9 per cent more babies born, while the doctors helped defy our ageing and fast-growing population, with total deaths in the state declining by 189 or 0.5 per cent.
Net overseas migration to Victoria also shot up 18 per cent last year to 56,200, the highest tally since 2009.
The bureau estimates that 118,400 new residents arrived from overseas, the third highest ever, while 62,200 returned home.
[sam id=34 codes=’true’] Final revisions flowing from the 2011 census also lifted Australia’s estimated population by a further 27,000. In all, the bureau’s estimate of the nation’s population swelled by 394,000 or 1.75 per cent last year to 22.9 million.
Victoria’s population grew by 99,500 or 1.8 per cent to 5.68 million.
Nationally, rising population growth was driven by rising immigration, especially to Western Australia, where net migration has shot up 64 per cent in two years, from 31,897 in 2010 to 52,306 in 2012.
Nationally, net immigration surged from 172,000 in 2010 to 201,500 in 2011 to 236,000 in 2012, despite a marked weakening of the labour market.
Last year, while the immigration intake shot up 17 per cent, the bureau estimates that total hours worked rose just 0.3 per cent.
Victoria had the biggest population growth of any state last year, but WA was by far the fastest-growing. Its population rose by 83,000 or 3.5 per cent over the year, implying that some time in recent weeks it passed 2.5 million people.
At December 31, the bureau estimates there were 7.35 million people in NSW, 5.68 million in Victoria, 4.61 million in Queensland, 2.47 million in WA, 1.66 million in South Australia, 512,400 in Tasmania – whose population is now edging down again – 379,500 in the ACT and 236,900 in the Northern Territory.
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