Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Australia's Population - March Quarter 2007 Introductory Note

During the week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its Australian population estimates for the March quarter 2007. You will find full release here.

I am working my way through the full data, but in the meantime thought that I might make a preliminary comment. The release was fully reported in the Australian press. My aim is to record key data and then look at it in terms of its demographic implications.

The first point to note is that the ABS has changed some of its previous estimates in light of new information, including census data. This is inevitable, but means that care must be taken in making past comparisons. It also means that some numbers - the estimated indigenous population is an example - have changed again.

Macro Picture

The preliminary estimated resident population (ERP) of Australia at 31 March 2007 was 20,948,900, an increase of 307,100 or 1.5 per cent since 31 March 2007.

Note that the figures are based on resident population. This means that the numbers exclude all those living in Australia not counted as residents.

This total population increase is the highest ever recorded for a twelve month period because of increases in both natural increase and net migration.

The natural increase for the twelve months ended 31 March 2007 was 138,100, an increase of 5.3 per cent as compared to the previous period.

This is a striking increase. A quick scan of the note suggests that there may have been a statistical problem in Queensland - I will check this. Even so, as has been been widely reported, the Australian birth rate is up.

The total fertility rate (TFR) for the year ended 30 June 2006 was 1.804. This is still below the replacement rate, but was the highest TFR since 1995 and well above the rate found in many other developed countries.

Net overseas migration was estimated at 162,600 people, 54 per cent of total growth, a significant increase on the previous period.

In my next note in this series, I will look at the changing distribution of population within Australia.

Next post.

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