3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Dec 2008 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2009   
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June 4, 2009
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)

Australia continues to experience high population growth: ABS

Australia's population increased by 1.9% for the year ending December 2008 according to statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today. The last time Australia saw higher growth rates (above 2%) was in the 1950's and 1960's as a result of post war migration and high birth rates.

These rates compare with a 1.2% growth rate recorded five years ago.

As at 31 December 2008, Australia's population had grown to 21,644,000, an increase of 406,100 people over the previous year. Australia's net overseas migration contributed to more than half of this growth at 62% or 253,400 people. Natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) contributed 152,700 (38%).

In the same period, Western Australia continued to record the fastest population growth at 3.1%, followed by Queensland (2.5%), the Northern Territory (2.0%), Victoria (1.9%), the Australian Capital Territory (1.7%), New South Wales (1.4%), South Australia (1.2%) and Tasmania (1.0%).

Queensland and Western Australia gained the most people through net interstate migration from the other states and territories (21,200 and 6,300 people respectively). The states that lost people to interstate migration were New South Wales (down 22,700), South Australia (down 5,200) and Victoria (down 1,000).

During December quarter 2008 the population of Tasmania reached 500,000 people. As at 31 December 2008, the population of each State and Territory was:
New South Wales 7,041,000;Western Australia 2,204,000;
Victoria 5,365,000; Tasmania 500,300;
Queensland 4,350,000;Northern Territory 221,700;
South Australia 1,612,000;Australian Capital Territory 347,800.

More details are available in Australian Demographic Statistics, December Quarter 2008 (cat. no. 3101.0).

For population estimates at the regional level please see Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2007-08 (cat. no. 3218.0).

Media note:
Please ensure that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source when reporting on ABS data.