3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Mar 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/09/2006   
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September 21, 2006
Embargoed 11.30 AM (AEST)
Australia's population passes 20.5 million: ABS

Australia's population passed 20.5 million in the March quarter 2006, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In the year ending March 2006, Australia's population increased by 263,200 people, representing an annual growth rate of 1.3%.

Queensland recorded the fastest growth at 2.0% for the year ending March 2006, gaining 80,200 people. The slowest growth (0.7%) was in Tasmania, adding 3,600 people.

Victoria's population grew by 1.3%, its largest annual percentage increase for 17 years. Western Australia's population grew by 1.9%, its largest percentage increase for 16 years, and South Australia's population growth at 0.8% was the largest increase for 14 years.

Population growth in the states and territories comprises three components: natural increase, net overseas migration and net interstate migration.

Natural increase (excess of births over deaths) was the major component of population growth in Queensland (28,900 people), the Australian Capital Territory (2,800 people), the Northern Territory (2,800 people) and Tasmania (2,600 people).

Net overseas migration was the major component of population growth for New South Wales (41,600 people), Victoria (37,100 people), Western Australia (21,000 people) and South Australia (8,800 people).
Queensland had the highest net interstate migration, with an increase of 26,800 people in the year ended March 2006.

Further details are in Australian Demographic Statistics, March quarter 2006 (cat. no. 3101.0).