Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Baby boom boosts Aussie population

This descriptive piece in The Australian grabbed my attention. Australia’s population growthhas accelerated strongly over the past decade both from natural growth and migration but migration now provides a higher proportion of the total increase than it did a decade ago. Signs of a heathy economy and a prosperous, decent society. Part of the original ABS report on which the article is based are here.

ABS figures for the 12 months to the end of June show that the total fertility rate in the 12-month period was 1.85 births per woman, the highest for 14 years.

This led to a record 273,000 births in the 12 months… 3.6% more than the previous year.

At the same time, fewer children are dying, with the infant mortality rate in the 12-month period at 4.62 deaths per 1000 live births recorded, the lowest since record-keeping began.

While younger Australians seem to be taking to heart the advice of ….Peter Costello to have more children, at the other end of the age spectrum older Australians are hanging in there longer.

As at June 30 there were 2860 Australians aged over 100, well up from 2441 the previous year. For the few years before that, there had consistently been about 2400 Australians aged over 100.

The other major contributor to population growth, immigration, was also higher, with 178,000 people coming to live in Australia in the 12-month period, up from 135,000 the previous year.

The ABS figures show that Australia's population as at June 30 was 21,017,200, or an extra 315,700 people from the previous year. Migration accounted for 56% of the growth, while the natural increase of 138,000 (272,900 births less 134,800 deaths) accounted for the remainder.

Queensland and WA continued to be the fastest-growing states with their populations growing at 2.3% and 2.2% respectively, while Victoria's population grew at 1.5% and that of NSW by 1.1%. SA's population grew by 1% and that of Tasmania by 0.7%, while the NT grew by 2% and the ACT by 1.7%.

…The ABS projects Australia's population will reach 24 million by 2050. At present we are ranked the 54th biggest country in the world, but by 2050 Australia will be ranked at No65.

The ABS projects that internationally, India will overtake China by 2050 as the world's most populated country with 1.8 billion people, while China is projected to have 1.4 billion by 2050.

While the growth in Australia's population in the most recent 12-month period of 1.5per cent was higher than the growth in the world population of 1.2%, it was lower than that of Australia's immediate neighbours in Papua New Guinea (2.2%), Malaysia (1.8%) and India (1.6%).

But growth rates of individual countries fail to take into account the base of that population. In that league, China and India continued to be world leaders, with China growing by eight million people to have 1.3b, India growing by 18m to 1.1b, Indonesia growing by three million to 234m, and the US growing by 1.7m to 301m. (my bold).


Spiros said...

The fall in infant mortality is particularly welcome. Although the infant mortality rate for indigenous Australians is four times the rate for the rest everyone else.

conrad said...

It really is a misleading title, given that the replacement rate is 2.09 and as you note more than half the growth is migration. The title should really be "longer life expectancies since 1930 cause population growth". I guess the main benefit of the birth rate increasing (did it ever decrease, or was the scaling wrong due to the change in older women having kids?), is that it might drive number of people per house up a bit.