Australia growing by 1,037 people every day

Colliers International examines Australia's latest population and housing data in response to the 2016 Census release last week, highlighting Melbourne's growing, ageing and multiculturally diverse population

- By Anika Wong, Colliers International’s manager for Research

Australia’s population has grown 8.8 per cent since the last Census of Population and Housing (2011), with 23.4million people living across the country, an additional 1.9million people. This equates to an increase of 1,037 extra Australians every day since 2011. While Sydney remains the most populous state, with a population of 7.48million, Melbourne has surged to 5.93million, recording the highest growth rate of all states at 2.4 per cent, well above the national average of 1.6 per cent in the same period.

So, where do we all live? Australia is a hugely diverse nation and has a higher proportion of overseas-born people than Canada, the UK and the USA, with more and more people from India, China, New Zealand and England calling Australia home. Australia is also heavily urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard – eight in 10 Australians reside along the eastern seaboard, and seven in 10 live in capital cities.

The population has also aged significantly. The number of people aged 65 years and older has increased by 16 per cent, which has pushed the median age to 38 years.
However, the population of City of Melbourne remains relatively young, aged in their 20s to early 30s, comprised primarily by international students.

Net interstate migration, net overseas migration and natural increases in Victoria have all reached record high levels since the 2011 census. Overseas migrants were the major component of population growth, with an inflow of 74,051 people to Victoria last year alone. Victoria has also gained 53,607 additional residents in the past five years via interstate migration, continuing the upwards trend.

Nationally, Australia’s housing tenure is evenly split – 31 per cent are renting, 34 per cent are owner-occupiers with a mortgage, and 31 per cent of homes are owned outright. Living arrangements have shifted, with the “traditional” one-family household decreasing by 69 per cent in the past 25 years. What has increased, however, are the 2million people living alone, now making up more than one in four households’ composition.

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