Australia is currently the fastest growing developed nation on the planet and by the end of this year we will hit 24 million – twice as many people we had in 1968. For the last decade numerically we’ve had the most growth we’ve ever had and in the next 5 years we will add nearly 2 million people to our population as well as nearly a million households. We’re currently adding a new Adelaide to our population every 3 years! (more than a million people; 355,000 each year).
79% of our country’s population growth is happening across our capital cities. By next year Sydney will win the race to 5 million people, but Melbourne is currently the hotspot of all the capitals with the largest population growth, increasing by 95,700 people each year. Sitting at 4.4 million, Melbourne isn’t far behind Sydney and is on track to overtake Sydney as Australia’s largest city by 2056, when both cities will be home to more than 8 million people.
Yet the fastest growing capital is still Perth, growing at 2.5%, ahead of Darwin and Melbourne at 2.2%.
MIGRATION A POPULATION GROWTH CONTRIBUTER
58% of Australia’s growth comes from net overseas migration, which equates to 240,000 per year, and the remainder from natural increase. Nearly two fifths (38%) of all post 1950 immigrants have arrived since the year 2000, and three fifths (63%) of our migrants come on skilled visas – so there’s a steady stream of highly skilled and hard-working individuals looking to establish their families in Australia.
Victoria leads in terms of interstate migration, while Queensland’s population growth has slowed to its lowest rate in 15 years as has Western Australia – both states due to low net overseas migration over the last year.
THE IMPACTS OF A GROWING AUSTRALIA
With population growth comes increasing diversity, a rich lifestyle, greater entertainment options but also rising house prices, the wait for public services, and of course traffic congestion.
Our households will also look different - by 2020, for the first time in our history the couple only household will be more common than the couple with kids household. The solo person household will move from 23% to 27% by 2020 and will be fast closing in on traditional couple and couple with kids households.
The increase of 175,000 households to our population each year is set to continue over the next 5 years, and we’ll continue to see an increase in the demand for housing across our capital cities, particularly high density housing to accommodate smaller households.
The increase in housing density will mean that the vast expanse of the Australian outback will remain virtually as it is but the major cities will continue to expand, particularly upwards, with more people living in apartments than ever before.
Australia will become even bigger, denser, and more multicultural over the next 5 years. Some ‘Aussie Dreams’ may start to disappear such as the ‘quarter acre block’ and along with it the Hills Hoist garden shed and enough space for a game of backyard cricket. But no doubt new ‘Aussie Dreams’ will come to replace them – it is the Lucky Country after all!