Our country has grown more than 50% since 1984, up from 15 million people to 23 million in just three decades. Recent research shows that if this growth pattern continues, we could hit a population of more than 40 million by 2050!
What does this mean for us and future generations? Mark McCrindle joins Network Ten’s Wake Up to discuss the trends and implications of Australia’s rapid population growth.
Behind the record-breaking growth are increasing births, decreasing birth rates, and greater migration than ever. We’re setting record births (300,000 births per year), and we have half as many deaths as births as we are living longer.
The natural increase accounts for only 40% of the growth, however, while 60% is the result of net migration with 500,000 arrivals per year (and half as many departures). These numbers, added together, equal a total growth of 400,000 per year.
While many Australians fear that a growing population is only increasing the strain on our roads and access to services, population growth isn’t all bad news. Domestic demand that is being created by a growing population has kept Australia from entering economic depression. With more people buying goods and services than ever before and more workers available for the labour force, the economy keeps a steady hold despite a rapidly ageing population.
To keep things in perspective, America with a similar landmass has 311 million people, and, with a bit of planning, Australia too can cater for a growing population.
Planning for future growth is key – including adequate infrastructure, town planning, and improving the availability and access to health care and education services. It is by looking ahead at the trend-lines that Australia will effectively cope with a rapidly increasing population, especially across our densely populated urban centres.
See our Big Australia and Australia at 23 Million infographics on this topic: