Australia’s population surpasses 24 million with almost 30% born overseas
Australia’s population has reached a milestone 24 million with migration contributing significantly to the rise, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The population clock is an indication of the current population, based on a projection calculated using births and deaths data from the ABS and migration figures from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
The ABS gave details of how the country’s population has changed over the years and how newcomers have added to the diversity of the Australian population.
When Australia became a Federation in 1901 its population was 3.7 million. From then, it took Australia 58 years to reach a population of 10 million and by 1964, the population was increasing by a million every four to five years.
“Since reaching 20 million in late 2003, there have been around three years between each million person increase, with the population reaching 21 million in 2007, 22 million in 2010 and 23 million in 2013,” said ABS director of demography, Beidar Cho.
“Since 2006, net overseas migration has been the driver of Australia’s annual population growth. This peaked in 2009, with 66% of our growth being attributed to migration. Our most recent data from June 2015 indicates net overseas migration contributing 53% to Australia’s total growth, with the remaining 47% due to natural increase,” he explained.
The data release also gives an indication of where people live and how this has changed. In 1901 only two states had a population of over one million people with New South Wales having a population of 1.4 million and Victoria 1.2 million people.
By 1968 Queensland and South Australia also had over a million people at 1.7 million and 1.1 million respectively, whilst New South Wales and Victoria had reached 4.4 million and 3.3 million respectively.
Western Australia experienced high growth from the 1970s, overtaking South Australia’s population in 1982 and reaching a population of 2 million in 2005.
In 2015, New South Wales remained the state with the largest population at 7.6 million, followed by Victoria at 5.9 million. Greater Sydney made up 64% of New South Wales’ population and Melbourne 76% of Victoria’s.
The structure of Australia’s population has changed significantly between the 1970s and today. In 1971 some 28.7% of the population were children aged up to 14 years, 63% were 15 to 64 years and 8.3% of the population were aged 65 and over.
There were 2.9 children born per woman, the median age of the population was 27.5 years and life expectancy was 68.3 years for males and 74.8 years for females. Some 20.2% of the population was born overseas.
By In 2015 some 18.8% of the population were children, 66.2% aged 15 to 64 and 15% aged over 65. There were 1.8 children born per woman, the median age of the population was 37.4 years and life expectancy was 80.3 years for males and 84.4 years for females while 28.1% of the population was born overseas.
Looking at Australia’s close neighbours, New Zealand’s population was 4.5 million in 2015, while Indonesia had a population of over 250 million. While Taiwan’s land size is smaller than Tasmania’s, they had a similar population to Australia with 23.5 million in 2014.