Tomorrow evening at 12.50am Australia is meant to roll over to the magic number of 24 million people, a not too insignificant number. And considering how fast the country is growing we have to ask today if you think we’re now growing too fast?
At Federation in 1901, Australia’s population was 3.7 million according to the ABS. From then, it took Australia 58 years to reach a population of 10 million. By 1964, the population was increasing by a million every 4-5 years. Since reaching 20 million in late 2003, there have been around three years between each million person increase, with the population reaching 21 million in 2007, 22 million in 2010 and 23 million in 2013.
The important thing to note is how heavily our country’s growth is due to migration.
In 2009, 66 percent of our growth was due to migration, with the number in June 2015
Since 2006, net overseas migration has been the driver of Australia’s annual population growth. Our most recent data (June 2015) indicates net overseas migration contributing 53 per cent to Australia’s total growth, with the remaining 47 per cent due to natural increase.
Since the 1970s Australia has cha ged an awful lot and it is fascinating to contemplate…
In 1971, 28.7 per cent of the population were children (0-14 years), 63 per cent were working age (15-64 years) and 8.3 per cent of the population were aged 65+ and there was 2.9 children born per woman.
Now, in 2015, 18.8 per cent of the population were children, 66.2 per cent were working age and 15 per cent were aged 65+. There were 1.8 children born per woman.
This structural change is rather fascinating, but what does it mean for the country we have become? Less children, more older people, more migrants and a bigger country… Australia is very different to 50 years ago.
Do you think it is for the better?