Australia’s population topped 25 million in August according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), with overseas migration making up 62% of total population growth.
Students and other temporary visa holders account for about 70 per cent of net overseas migration (NOM) while the remaining 30 per cent are relocating permanently. Some temporary visa holders also go on to become permanent residents.
“Australia has a strong rate of population growth relative to other advanced economies,” CommBank Senior Economist Kristina Clifton said.
“It means our economy needs to grow at a faster pace than other countries to keep gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in positive territory,” said Clifton. “We also need strong growth in infrastructure spending to maintain our standard of living.”
On the road again
Australia’s population rose by 380,700, or 1.6%, in the 12 months to the end of March 2018.
Victoria (2.2%) and the ACT (2.1%) have the strongest annual rates of population growth, the data shows.
"Population growth is lifting in Queensland (1.7%) driven by a lift in both net overseas migration and net interstate migration,” Clifton said.
“The number of people leaving NSW for other states has picked up and there are more people moving to Queensland. Queensland has overtaken Victoria as having the fastest rate of net interstate migration.”
Housing market implications
Clifton said that the lift in people migrating to Queensland is helping to soak up all the extra apartments that have been built in Brisbane.
“Despite a record amount of new apartment completions, the vacancy rate is low in Brisbane and has actually come down this year to be below the vacancy rate in Sydney,” she said.