Thursday, December 07, 2006

Australia's Population - June 2006

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has just released its Australian population estimates as at June 2006. Key points:
  • The estimated resident population of Australia was 20,605,500 persons, an increase of 265,700 persons (up 1.3%) since 30 June 2005.
  • Migration contributed 134,600 persons (51 per cent) of this (previous year 123,800), natural growth 131,200 (previous year 124,500).
  • States or territories recording the fastest growth in percentage terms were Western Australia (2.0%), followed by Queensland (1.9%) and the Northern Territory (1.6%). Slowest growers were the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales (0.9%), South Australia (0.8%) and Tasmania (0.7%). Victoria recorded growth of 1.4%, the highest for many years.
  • In absolute terms, Queensland recorded the greatest growth (76,400) followed by Victoria (68,500) and then NSW (58,800). WA came next on 39,900.
  • As has been the case for a number of years, NSW continued to lose people (-24,000), if at a slightly slower rate. This loss was offset by overseas migration. This pattern of population loss and gain is most pronounced in Sydney, explaining the slowly growing divergence between that city's ethic mix and that holding elsewhere in most of the country.

The ABS Release also contained some interesting data from the US Bureau of Census International Data Base.

  • The world's population is projected to grow from 6 528.1 million today to 9 404.3 million in 2050.
  • Ranked by population, Australia dropped from 52nd place in 2005 to 54th in 2006 (population 20.6 million) and is projected to fall to 67th place (population 28 million) by 2050.
  • India is projected to grow from 1 111.7 million to 1 807.9 million, overtaking China (now
    1 314.0 million, 2050 projection 1 424.2 million) as the world's most populous nation.
  • The US will stay at number 3 place, rising from 298.4 million to 420.1 million.
  • Japan's population is projected to fall from 127.5 to 99.9 million.
  • Countries in our region expected to record significant population increases are Indonesia (up from 231.8 million today to 313 million in 2050), Malaysia ( up from 24.4 to 43.1 million) and Papua New Guinea (up from 5.7 to 10.7 million).

While I have not done a full analysis of the numbers, these projections add demographic weight to the analysis I put forward about Australia's future in GDP - Australia in its Region. They also set part of the context for the current debate on climate change.

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