Return of overseas migration spurs Australia's population growth

Media Release


This publication was re-released on 26 September 2022. Estimates for September 2020 to March 2022 have been updated since first release on 21 September 2022.


Media release

Australia's population grew by 0.9 per cent in the year to March 2022, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Beidar Cho, Demography Director at the ABS, said that with the softening of international border closures, net overseas migration added an estimated 110,000 people to the population.

 “After two years of mostly low or no population growth, overseas migration is again a significant contributor to Australia’s population increase, accounting for almost half of the growth in the year to March 2022.”

The strength in net overseas migration was driven by a large increase in arrivals (up 183 per cent on the previous year to 320,000) while overseas migrant departures held steady (up 1.5 per cent to 210,400).

In contrast, this result is a strong turnaround from overseas migration in the year to March 2021 (-94,300), but still trails recent pre-pandemic annual levels which ranged from 238,000 to 260,000.

Data from Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia showing visa types of Arrivals over the period indicated a strong return of international students to our shores.

There were 309,300 births and 179,100 deaths over the year to March 2022. The resulting natural increase of 130,200 was down 4.6 per cent from the previous year, with the increase in deaths (16,300 or 10 per cent) outpacing an increase in births (10,000 or 3.4 per cent).

Population at 31 March 2022 ('000)Change over previous year ('000)Change over previous year (%)
New South Wales8,
South Australia1,815.515.40.9
Western Australia2,773.432.21.2
Northern Territory250.41.00.4
Australian Capital Territory455.93.40.7

Media notes

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