Five years ago, Victoria’s population was growing by 1.40 per cent per annum. In the year to March 2016, this had powered ahead to 1.94 per cent per annum. In ‘real’ terms, an increase of nearly 115,000 residents per year. Victoria is extending its lead as the fastest growing state in Australia with the greatest number of new residents and the highest percentage rate of growth. Population growth in New South Wales is strong at just over 100,000 people per annum and 1.36 per cent growth rate. New South Wales remains the gateway to Australia, with net overseas migration boosting the population by 71,000 people in the year to March 2016. However, many of those new Australians resettle elsewhere in Australia. The state’s net interstate migration has been negative for the past 30 years and the latest data show the loss to other states and territories was more than 10,000 people per annum and increasing.
In 2012, Australia’s four largest states – New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia – were all growing by around the same number of people per annum – between 90,000 and 96,000 residents per year. Since then, Victoria and New South Wales have consolidated their growth while Queensland’s growth has since dropped by one-third, down to around 60,000 people per annum. Western Australia has had a much bigger adjustment with its growth dropping by two-thirds to 30,000 people per annum.
Queensland is attracting a larger number of people from other parts of Australia. A couple of years ago, net interstate migration into Queensland was running at about 5,000 people per year and this has since doubled to 10,000. In contrast, the net overseas migration into Queensland has moderated significantly. Four years ago, Queensland was getting about half of its total population growth from net overseas migration; in the year to March 2016, this had eased to one third.
Western Australia’s population growth is normalising. Net overseas migration into the state has been steady at 15,000 per annum for a couple of years and natural increase (births less deaths) adds a steady 21,000 people per year. During WA’s boom years a net 54,000 people crossed the border from other states and territories to head west. This trend has reversed and has since had a net loss of nearly 7,000 people to other Australian states. This trend will continue for some time as more people head east either for work in the construction sector or to be closer to the family and friends they left during the iron ore commodity boom.
South Australia is continuing its slow but steady growth. It has missed out on the booms of the other states, but then it has also avoided the growing pains that come with changing growth rates. At between 10,000 and 16,000 additional residents per annum, it has the capacity to coordinate the urban growth and infrastructure without the negative impacts on the housing sector.
About MacroPlan: MacroPlan’s experienced and qualified economists align their understanding of macro-economic forces with micro-economic variables such as geographic and industrial characteristics, demographics, labour market shifts, resource demand and commercial realities. Contact Stuart McKnight, General Manager – Western Australia, today to discuss your property research requirements.