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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Population

POPULATION

The number of people who usually live in Australia, together with their demographic characteristics and their distribution across the country, is an important influence on many dimensions of progress. Similarly, many dimensions of progress influence the size and shape of Australia's population.

This commentary provides contextual information about the population and explains some of the links between changes in population and dimensions of progress.

At June 2009, Australia's resident population was estimated at 22.0 million people. The population has increased by more than 18 million since 1901, when it was recorded at 3.8 million.

Australia's annual population growth rate for the year ending June 2009 was 2.1%, its highest level since the introduction of the concept of estimated resident population (ERP) in 1971. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the annual population growth rate was much lower than its current level, not surpassing 1.5% until the year ending June 2007. The lowest population growth rates were recorded during the First World War in 1916 (-0.9%) and 1917 (0.0%), but the Great Depression and the Second World War also resulted in relatively low population growth rates (between 0.7% and 1.1% during the 1930-1946 period). Population growth rates were at their highest immediately prior to, and after, the First World War (3.7% in 1912, 3.6% in 1913 and 3.3% in 1919) and during the 'baby boom' following the Second World War (peaking at 3.4% in 1950 and at 2.7% in 1961).

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