Without Migration, Australia’s Population Growth is Marginal

17 December 2021

The impact of international border closures due to COVID-19 on overseas migration again showed a slower population growth for Australia, in the year to June 2021, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Demography Director Beidar Cho said: “Australia’s population grew by 0.2 per cent (34,300 people) to 25.7 million following an annual increase of 46,000 people.”

Population growth over the past 12 months was entirely due to natural increase (adding 134,800 people), while net overseas migration was negative (-88,800) over the period. This continues the recent shift from the long run trend of net overseas migration driving the majority of Australia’s population growth.

With over 12 months of COVID-19 international travel restrictions having been in place, net overseas migration was down by 281,500 people compared with the previous year. Arrivals decreased more sharply (-71%) than departures (-25%) over the period.

Net overseas migration (-88,800) consisted of 145,800 overseas migration arrivals and 234,600 departures.

There were 298,000 births and 163,200 deaths during this period. The resulting natural increase was down .05 per cent from the previous year, driven mainly by decreasing births.

ON a State by State basis, most states and territories had positive population growth over the year ending 30 June 2021 with Queensland at the top of list with +0.9% and Victoria, the only state with negative growth rate -0.7%.

As is often the case, internal migration from the southern states to Queensland drives the overall population (& demand for real estate) in Queensland.