Australia’s population growth is placing a strain on infrastructure and creating congestion, particularly in our most populated capitals – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Our population has grown faster and larger than was forecast a couple of decades ago, and the growth is not slowing down. Social Researcher and McCrindle Team Leader of Communications Ashley Fell spoke to the Today Show about Australia’s population and overseas migration.
Migration, the reason for growth
Australia’s population has been growing over the last decade in record numbers. While natural increase is quite strong, Net Overseas Migration (NOM) is the biggest growth factor with more than half (58%) of Australia’s population growth contributing to this.
Some suburbs in Australia are seeing more concentrated growth than others. The following suburbs have a growing population, but also a high proportion of residents born overseas, as well as a high percentage of households where non-English languages are spoken.
Implications of Australia’s growing population
While population growth has assisted with our economic growth, and migration is a net positive on the Australian economy, in some parts of Australia it’s almost as though we have too much of a good thing. In certain areas and suburbs, strain is being felt where the planning for the growth has not kept up, where infrastructure investment has not kept up with the growing population and demand for services.
Australia has a rich history of cultural diversity. A third (33.3%) of us are born overseas, more than 1 in 3 speaks a language other than English, and the latest Census shows us we are a nation of more than 250 nationalities. Australians are a part of this migration pattern and Australians respond well to diversity and inclusion, but as many Sydneysiders and Melbournians can attest, the congestion, increasing wait times, crowded hospitals and schools show the downside of the unprecedented growth Australia is experiencing at the moment.
Ashley Fell is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and Team Leader of Communications at McCrindle. You can find out more about Ashley here.