It's World Population Day and Australia has staked its claim as one of the world's fastest growing nations. The recently released 2011 census data has revealed that the nation will hit 23 million around mid-2013, fuelled by our above-average growth rate of 1.4%. Why is Australia growing so quickly? McCrindle Research has found the top three drivers of our population growth.
More than half (54%) of our population growth is due to net overseas migration, and permanent arrivals (425,000) by far outweigh permanent departures (249,500). Skilled immigration is the biggest contributor, with 63% of arrivals targeted to fill the current skills shortage.
A further 30% of arrivals come on family visas, while just 7% come under humanitarian visa. Our motherland is the biggest contributor to immigration growth, with 20% of migrants coming from the UK. A further 9% come from New Zealand, 6% from China and 6% from India.
2. Baby Boom
Australia is in the midst of one of the biggest baby booms in our history, with natural increases making up 46% of population growth.
In 2011 we saw 296,700 births compared to 147,000 deaths. The original Baby Boom peaked at 250,000 annual births.
Currently in Australia there are 3.58 million households with children, and 5,1 million children under 18.
Australia's population is ageing and by 2050 23% of Aussies will be over 65. In just fifty years we have seen a radical shift. In 1961, 0% of the population was under 15, while today less than 19% are. In contrast, the cohort of those over 65 has risen from 8% to 14%, and the number of centurions has increased 23-fold, from 184 to 4,248 in less than half a century!
Where we stand
We've doubled with the world!
In 1966, the world's population was just 3.5 billion, while Australia's was 11.5 million. In less than half a century this number has doubled, with the world over 7 billion, and Australia's due to hit 23 million next year.
We've grown almost five fold over a century and the population of Sydney today is equal to that of the whole nation in 1912. From an international perspective, we are growing strongly with our population expanding faster (1.4%) than the world's growth rate of 1.1%.
Growing, but a lot of ground to cover before we catch up!
Australia is ranked 52nd out of 242 countries in terms of our population, placing us in the top 25% of the world. However, while 23 million seems like an incredible number, compared to other countries we are dragging the chain. The UK for example, hit 23 million in 1830, while the USA joined the club in 1850.
If Australia was a city we'd struggle for the 7th spot, dragging behind Tokyo, Guangzhou, Jakarta, Seoul, Shanghai and Mexico City. The city of Tokyo alone exceeds our entire national population by more than 10 million residents!
Download the Social Analysis as a PDF here: World Population Day