What property investors need to know about population growth

According to the ABS, Australia’s population grew by 1.73% in the year to December 2013. While this doesn’t sound like much in percentage terms, it is a population increase of 396,200 in the last year. Our current population increase is the equivalent of one new Coffs Harbour every 8 weeks, or one new Gold Coast every 19 months! Now this must be good for property, so let’s look into this in a little more detail…

How big is our population?

You can check how many of us there are using the ABS population clock  which assumes growth of:

  • one birth every 1 minute and 42 seconds,
  • one death every 3 minutes and 34 seconds ,
  • a net gain of one international migration every 2 minutes and 14 seconds, leading to
  • an overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 20 seconds .

Apparently there’s around 23,550,000 people in Australia at present. In 1966 Australia’s population was 11.5 million, so it has taken less than 50 years to double in size. While we’re growing faster than all other developed countries, not surprisingly many third world countries are growing faster than us.   Population growthSource: HIA

We’re having a Baby Boom

Currently Australia’s  births are exceeding 300,000 a year. Just to put things into perspective the original Baby Boom in the early 1960 peaked out at 260,000 births yet created Australia’s largest generation – the Baby Boomers.

We’re living longer

And while the birth rate has been growing, the death rate has been declining, a factor of increasing longevity and an ageing population.

Population growth from migration still a big factor

While population growth due to net overseas migration slowed  a little to 235,797 in 2013, this still eclipsed the natural increase in population (births minus deaths) of 160,357 .

Our population will grow by 10% in the next 5 years.

It is likely Australia’s population will increase by 10% over the next 5 years if we compound the current rate of growth. With most of this growth happening in our major capital cities this will clearly cause some interesting planning and social challenges, but it will also some great opportunities for our real estate markets and for property investors.


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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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