The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this morning released the Australian Demographic Statistics for the December quarter of 2012.
According to the ABS, Australia’s population grew by 1.8% in the year to December 2012, which was the highest annual recorded rate of growth since December 2009, and above the 30-year average of 1.4%.
The growth in the number of persons in the year to September 2012 was 394,300, which was 142,556 above the 30-year average:
As shown above, Australia’s population growth continues to be driven by net overseas migration (NOM) – i.e. those residing in Australia for 12 months or more.
While NOM has declined from a peak of 315,700 in calendar year 2008 to 235,900 calendar year 2012 – it remains well above the average level of 124,770.
Moreover, the proportion of population growth derived from NOM – 60% in the year to December 2012 – remains well above the 30-year average of 48%:
Separate data compiled by the ABS, which measures permanent arrivals/departures into Australia only, suggests that nearly two-thirds of NOM is temporary, although some proportion of these arrivals do become permanent residents at a later date.
As shown in the next chart, the number of net permanent arrivals into Australia was 61,130 in the 12 months to April 2013, which is tracking just below the 30-year average of 66,378:
While natural increase – the difference between births and deaths – is not the key driver of Australia’s population growth, it too is running at levels well above the 30-year average (see below chart).
More recently, Australia’s population growth rate has been driven by migration into Australia’s key resources state – Western Australia – where population grew at a rate (3.5%) that was nearly double the national average (1.8%) in the 12 months to December 2012:
In number terms, however, population growth in the 12 months to December 2012 was highest in Victoria (99,548), followed by Queensland (92,453), New South Wales (90,441), and Western Australia (83,031):