3222.0 - Population Projections, Australia, 2017 (base) - 2066 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/11/2018   
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INTRODUCTION

The population projections presented in this publication cover the period 2018 to 2066 for Australia, the states and territories, capital cities and rest of state regions.

The projections are not predictions or forecasts, but are simply illustrations of the growth and change in population which would occur if certain assumptions about future levels of fertility, mortality, overseas migration and internal migration were to prevail over the projection period. The assumptions are formulated on the basis of demographic trends seen in past data.

Three series of projections (series A, B and C) have been selected from a possible 72 individual combinations of the various assumptions. Series B largely reflects current trends in fertility, life expectancy at birth and migration, whereas series A and series C are based on higher and lower assumptions for each of these variables respectively.


SELECTED PROJECTION SERIES

ASSUMPTIONS
PROJECTED POPULATION
Life Expectancy at birth(a)
Total fertility rate(b)
Males
Females
Net overseas migration(b)
2027
2042
2066
Average annual growth rate
babies per woman
years
years
persons
million
million
million
%

Series A
1.95
87.7
89.2
275 000
29.3
36.6
49.2
1.4
Series B
1.80
83.0
86.0
225 000
28.8
34.3
42.6
1.1
Series C
1.65
83.0
86.0
175 000
28.3
32.3
37.4
0.9

(a) From 2066
(b) From 2027


POPULATION SIZE AND GROWTH

Australia's estimated resident population at 30 June 2017 of 24.6 million people is projected to increase to between 37.4 and 49.2 million people by 2066. Series A projects the fastest growth, while series C projects the slowest growth.

Graph Image for Historical and projected population, Australia

Source(s): Population Projections, Australia, 2017 (base) - 2066



In the 10 years to 30 June 2017, Australia's population increased by 1.7% per year on average, with around 60% of growth resulting from NOM and around 40% from natural increase (births minus deaths). In the year ending 30 June 2017, the contribution of NOM to population growth again increased to 64%, with natural increase decreasing to 36%. During this period there were 307,800 births and 160,200 deaths in Australia, resulting in natural increase of 147,600 people, and a population increase of 262,300 due to NOM.

In the 10 years to 30 June 2027, Australia's population is projected to increase at an annual average rate of between 1.4% (series C), 1.6% (series B), and 1.8% (series A). In each of the three selected series 60% of this growth is projected to result from NOM and 40% from natural increase.

Over the next 15 years, from 30 June 2027 to 30 June 2042, the annual average growth rate for Australia is projected to be lower at 0.9% (series C), 1.2% (series B), and 1.5% (series A). The proportion of Australia’s growth resulting from natural increase is projected to increase to 44% in series A, and to decrease in series B and C (36% and 27% respectively) in 2042.


POPULATION AGEING

The ageing of Australia's population is expected to continue over the period. This is the result of sustained below replacement levels of fertility combined with increasing life expectancy at birth over several decades. The median age of Australia's population (37.2 years at 30 June 2017) is projected to increase to between 39.5 years and 43.0 years in 2066.

In 2017 people aged 65 years and over made up 15% of Australia's population. This is projected to increase to between 21% (series A and B) and 23% (series C) in 2066. The proportion of people aged less that 15 years is projected to decrease from 19% at 30 June 2017 to between 16% and 18% by 2066.

There were 493,000 people aged 85 years and over in Australia in 2017, making up 2.0% of the population. This group is projected to grow rapidly throughout the projection period to between 3.6% and 4.4% in 2066.


STATES AND TERRITORIES

Series A and B both project continuing population growth for all states and territories between 2017 and 2066. Series C projects continuing growth for all states and territories except Tasmania.

New South Wales is projected to remain as the largest state, reaching over 9 million in all series by 2027 and 10 million between the years 2033 and 2039.

Victoria is projected to experience the largest and fastest increase in population over the projection period, increasing by between 60% to 130%. Victoria's population is projected to reach between 7.5 million and 7.9 million people by 2027.

Queensland is projected to increase by between 0.7 million and 1 million people from 30 June 2017 to reach between 5.7 and 5.9 million people by 2027. Growth will be slower in Western Australia, reaching 2.9 million in 2027, and in South Australia which is projected to be between 1.8 million and 1.9 million in 2027.

The Northern Territory's population is projected to reach between 269,500 and 283,900 in 2027. Although the Northern Territory is projected to have a smaller absolute increase than those for the larger states, the relative increase from 2017 is similar.

The population of the Australian Capital Territory is projected to reach between 479,200 and 510,000 people in 2027 and exceeding Tasmania's population by the year 2040. Tasmania's population is projected to increase to between 544,900 and 573,300 in 2027. Growth is projected to decline by the year 2027 in series C, while series A and B project continued growth over the projection period.


Projected population, States and territories, at 30 June 2066

Series A
Series B
Series C
'000
'000
'000

New South Wales
14 796
13 088
11 754
Victoria
14 525
12 030
10 091
Queensland
10 469
8 718
7 507
South Australia
2 437
2 214
2 040
Western Australia
4 926
4 760
4 493
Tasmania
744
581
453
Northern Territory
386
439
490
Australian Capital Territory
939
775
612
Australia(a)
49 226
42 608
37 444

(a) Includes Other Territories comprising Jervis Bay Territory, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island.


CAPITAL CITIES AND REST OF STATE/TERRITORY REGIONS

At 30 June 2017, 67% of Australians lived in capital cities; by 2027 this proportion is projected to increase to between 69% (series B and C) and 70% (series A).

All capital cities are projected to grow more than their respective rest of state or territory.

Sydney is projected to increase from 65% of New South Wales' population in 2017 to between 67% and 68%, while Melbourne is projected to increase from 77% of Victoria's population in 2017 to 79% in 2027.

Melbourne is projected to be the largest city in Australia by 2066 with a projected population between 12.2 million and 8.6 million, surpassing Sydney in 2031 (series A), 2037 (series B) and 2057 (series C).

Brisbane is projected to increase from 49% of Queensland's population to 51% in 2027, becoming the majority part of Queensland's population. Similarly, Hobart is projected to increase its proportion of Tasmania's population, with Hobart projected to grow from 44% of Tasmania's population in 2017 to 46% in 2027.

Adelaide and Perth are projected to change similarly as proportions of the total state population. Adelaide is projected to grow from 77% of South Australia's population in 2017 to between between 78% and 79% in 2027, and Perth from 79% of Western Australia's population to between 80% and 81%.

Darwin is projected to become considerably larger compared to the rest of the the Northern Territory, containing 60% of the territory's population in 2017 compared to 63% and 64% in 2027.