1304.5 - Stats Talk WA, Dec 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/12/2008   
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Beyond 2000...
... One Hundred and One

Many of us are familiar with the old TV series Beyond 2000, the show that intrigued its viewers with flying cars, futuristic inventions and wacky gadgets. Well, we are almost a decade beyond 2000 and many of the inventions that we thought we would have seen have not quite made it to the consumer market .

Contrastingly, many technological advances that we would never have dreamt of have now become consumer essentials, such as mobile phones that support internet connectivity and small enough to be tucked neatly away into our pockets.

On the Money
Although it has been difficult for some to predict the next big innovation to capture the interest of the consumer market, the ABS has had no difficulty in predicting Western Australia’s future population in their Populations Projections publication (cat. no. 3222.0).

When the ABS produced Population Projections in 1993, they estimated that the population of WA in 2011 would be in the vicinity of 2,092,700. In June 2008, the estimated resident population of WA was 2,163,200, just 3% higher than the 1993 prediction. Given that WA has experienced unprecedented growth as a result of the resources boom and an irregular increase in overseas migration over the past few years, we can consider that the prediction made by the ABS 15 years ago to be a very good estimation of the numbers now currently living in WA.

A Can of Sardines
Given the accuracy of previous predictions, the latest population projections for WA that were released by the ABS on 4 September 2008 provide a very interesting insight into our future over the next 50 years.

WA’s population is projected to more than double over the period to 2056, from 2.1 million people to 4.3 million people. This is the middle, or ‘B’, series projection in a series recently released by the ABS. Series B largely reflects current trends in fertility, life expectancy at birth, net overseas migration and net interstate migration.

If you thought that traffic in the city was bad or that it was a tight squeeze to get onto the train during peak hour, most of the State’s growth is projected to occur in Perth, where the population is projected to increase from the current 1.6 million to 3.4 million in 2056. In Series B, Perth is projected to experience the highest percentage growth (116%), of Australia’s capital cities, followed by Brisbane which will increase from 1.9 million people to 4.0 million people (114%) contrasting with Hobart which is predicted to grow roughly 35% (117,000 to 243,000).

Growing Grey
Not only will the trains be packed, but they will probably contain a higher number of priority seats. The ageing of WA’s population, already evident in the current age structure, is expected to continue and is the result of sustained low levels of fertility combined with increasing life expectancy at birth.

By 2056 there will be a greater proportion of people aged 65 years and over than at 30 June 2007, and a lower proportion of people aged under 15 years. The median age of the population of WA is projected to increase from the current 36.4 years to between 41.4 and 45.0 years in 2056.

A Look at 2101
In 2101 there will be an anticipated 136,200 Australians aged over 100 who would have received King William’s congratulatory hologram for reaching that milestone. This is 50 times more centenarians than currently (2,800 as at 30 June 2007).

Article By:
Bodi Ledwij,
Client Liaison Unit
(119 years old in 2101)