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3222.0 - Population Projections, Australia, 1997 to 2051  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/08/1999   
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MEDIA RELEASE

August 18, 1999
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
95/1999

Australia's population reaches 19 million

Australia's population has reached 19 million. In commenting on the Australian Bureau of Statistics' figure, the Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, The Hon. Joe Hockey, described it as a "significant milestone for the nation".

Minister Hockey said it had taken four years and five months for the population to increase from 18 to 19 million. During that time, natural increase contributed 53% and net overseas migration contributed 47% to population growth.

"The latest ABS population projections suggest that it will take six years to add the next million people to Australia's population, and that growth will continue to slow down as natural increase falls and migration levels remain steady," the Minister said.

"At the turn of the century, on the threshold of nationhood, Australia's population was only four million, but even then the impact of migration was evident, with 23% of the population born overseas, the same proportion as today.

"Since 1949, when Australia's population was eight million, it has taken between four and five years for each successive million people to be added to the population. The relative contribution of natural increase and net overseas migration to each successive million has varied quite considerably over this period."

Minister Hockey said the reality of population change affected Australia almost every moment of the day. "The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that every day, on average, the population grows by 558 people - 681 babies are born, 369 people die and 246 migrants are added."

Minister Hockey was speaking at the unveiling of an Australian Bureau of Statistics 'Population Clock'.

AUSTRALIA'S POPULATION GROWTH


(a) Series K projection from ABS
Population Projections 1997 to 2051 (Cat No 3222.0)


AUSTRALIA'S POPULATION GROWTH - TIME BETWEEN SUCCESSIVE MILLIONS

Population
Interval since previous
Population
Interval since previous
million attained
million attained
Year attained
million
years/months
Year attained
million
years/months
Actual1976
14
5/0
1858
1
70
1981
15
5/7
1877
2
19
1986
16
4/8
1889
3
12
1990
17
3/9
1905
4
16
1995
18
5/0
1918
5
13
1999
19
4/5
1925
6
7
1939
7
14
Projected (a)
1949
8
10/11
2005
20
6
1954
9
4/9
2010
21
5
1959
10
4/7
2017
22
7
1963
11
4/7
2024
23
7
1968
12
4/8
2033
24
9
1971
13
4/9
(a) Series K projection from ABS Population Projections 1997 to 2051 (cat. no. 3222.0)


About the clock

The Population Clock uses the best available data about Australia's population and is based on population estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

These statistics are used widely throughout Australia by governments and the private sector to make decisions affecting the nation. For example they are used to help determine Federal Government funding to States and Territories and are the basis on which the number of seats are allocated to each State and Territory in the House of Representatives.
  • On 18 August the clock will remain fixed on 19 million to retain the focus on this milestone.
  • Because the population will only be known once the relevant birth, death and international migration data has been received by ABS, the figure of 19 million is based on assumptions. As such the emphasis of this media launch is on the population reaching 19 million rather than reaching 19 million on a particular day.
  • The clock is based on a mathematical model, projecting the size of the population by applying assumed numbers of births, deaths and net overseas migration on a day by day basis.
  • The base population used is the estimated resident population at 31 December 1998.

The assumptions used are drawn from Population Projections 1997-2051 (cat. no. 3222.0). The assumptions for 1999 used are those closest to current trends:
  • Births - an average number of births per woman of 1.7
  • Deaths - life expectancy at birth of 76.3 years for males and 81.8 years for females
  • Net overseas migration - 90,000 per year

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