Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that Australia’s population increased by 337,800 people in the year ending June 2016, but there are wide divergences between the growth rates in the various states and territories.
The Housing Industry Association (HIA), the voice of Australia’s residential building industry, said Australia’s overall population increased by 1.4 per cent over the year ending June 2016, reaching 24.1 million.
Economist Geordan Murray said net overseas migration contributed 182,165 people to the increase over the year ending June 2016, and the net inflow was around 3.0 per cent higher compared with the previous year.
“Natural population growth added 155,656 people to the population over the year to June 2016, which was around 2.6 per cent higher compared with the previous year,” he said.
Mr Murray also said there is a naturally tight relationship between economic conditions, demography, and the requirement for residential building.
“The major eastern seaboard states are doing well in terms of population growth and residential building,” he said.
“In contrast, the declining rates of population growth in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory are reflected in the challenging industry conditions in these jurisdictions.
“Victoria has hosted the fastest growing population in the country since 2014 and the latest figures show the rate of growth increased further to 2.1 per cent in the year to
June 2016. The state experienced the largest ever net inflow of people from other states on record.”
In addition, Victoria also experienced the largest net inflow from overseas since the GFC caused a spike in inbound migration in 2009, said Mr Murray, adding that with such strong population growth it is “little wonder” the state is able to keep filling so many new homes.
“Overall, the net inflow from overseas has remained relatively steady at around 180,000 over the last couple of years,” he said.
“However, a larger share of the net increase from overseas, now 75 per cent, has occurred in NSW and Victoria. The increased share in these two states has largely been at the expense of migration in Western Australia.”