3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Jun 2015 Quality Declaration
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/02/2016
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Australia to reach 24 million
Australia's population will reach 24 million, at about 12:50am (AEDT) tomorrow (16 February 2016), according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) population clock.
"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)," said ABS Director of Demography, Beidar Cho.
"We do not know who the 24 millionth Australian is: it could be a newborn or a migrant.”
Journey to 24 million
How did Australia reach 24 million?
At Federation in 1901, Australia's population was 3.7 million. From then, it took Australia 58 years to reach a population of 10 million.
By 1964, the population was increasing by a million every 4-5 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.
Since 2006, net overseas migration has been the driver of Australia's annual population growth. This peaked in 2009, with 66 per cent of our growth being attributed to migration. Our most recent data (June 2015) indicates net overseas migration contributing 53 per cent to Australia's total growth, with the remaining 47 per cent due to natural increase.
State by state
Where do the 24 million people live?
In 1901, only two states had a population of over one million people: New South Wales (1.4 million), and Victoria (1.2 million people).
By 1968, Queensland and South Australia also had over a million people (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 (7.6 million), followed by Victoria (5.9 million). Greater Sydney made up 64 per cent of New South Wales’ population and Melbourne 76 per cent of Victoria’s
What does 24 million people look like?
The structure of Australia's population has changed significantly between the 1970s and today. In 1971, 28.7 per cent of the population were children (0-14 years), 63 per cent were working age (15-64 years) and 8.3 per cent of the population were aged 65+. 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. 20.2 per cent of the population was born overseas.
In 2015. 18.8 per cent of the population were children, 66.2 per cent were working age and 15 per cent were aged 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. 28.1 per cent of the population was born overseas.
How does Australia's population compare with other countries?
The world population reached 7.3 billion in 2015. China and India are the most populated countries, each with a population of more than 1 billion.
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.
A number of megacities in the world have reached the 24 million milestone before Australia. In 2015, Shanghai had a population of 24 million and the Greater Tokyo had a population of approximately 37 million.
Further information is available in Australian Demographic Statistics, June Quarter 2015 (cat. no. 3101.0) and Australian Historical Population Statistics, 2014 (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001).
For population estimates at the regional level, please see Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2013-14 (cat. no. 3218.0) and Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 3235.0), available for free download from www.abs.gov.au.
When will the population reach 24 million?
According to the ABS Population Clock the Australian population will reach 24 million at around 12:50am (AEDT) on 16 February 2016.
This is based on the population clock on the ABS website, which is an indication only (not an official estimate). The population clock is based on a 12 month projection off a known base, determined by adding the same number of births and subtracting the same number of deaths as the previous year and using an annual forecast of Net Overseas Migration (NOM) based on Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) figures.
Who will the 24 millionth person be?
There is no official 24 millionth person. It could be:
Net overseas migration currently accounts for 53 per cent of Australia's total growth, with the remaining 47 per cent due to natural increase (for the year ending 30 June 2015), suggesting that it is less likely to be a newborn baby.
How long has it been since we reached 23 million?
It has been around three years since Australia reached 23 million (March Quarter 2013).
We can see that in more recent times there has been around 3 years between each million person increase.
When will the population reach 25 million?
It is projected that Australia will reach 25 million in 2018 and will keep increasing by a million persons every 2 to 3 years.
According to the ABS' B Series population projection (cat no 3222.0) Australia will reach;
How has the population changed since 1901?
How does Australia compare internationally?
The table below features Australia's close neighbours and countries with similar populations (as at 2015).
Source: Australian Estimates - Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0). Selected country and world estimates - United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2015). World Population Prospects: the 2015 Revision. Taiwan Estimates - the National Statistics Republic of China (Taiwan).
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