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Centre for Population analysis of the National, state and territory population publication from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
Reference period: -
The Estimated Resident Population (ERP) of Australia grew by 0.5 per cent in the September 2022 quarter, to be 1.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.
Australia experienced the largest quarterly net inflow of overseas migrants in the history of this data series, at 106,000 for the September 2022 quarter. This was driven by a strong recovery in quarterly arrivals while departures decreased and remained below 2019 levels. Net overseas migration contributed to over 80 per cent of quarterly population growth.
Natural increase (births minus deaths) recorded its lowest quarterly increase in the history of this data series of 22,000, driven by an increase in deaths.
Queensland had the fastest growing population over the year to September 2022, followed by Western Australia and Victoria. The Northern Territory and Tasmania were the slowest growing jurisdictions.
This release now contains statistics on net internal moves between capital cities and regions. Net moves to regional areas fell in the September 2022 quarter but are still above levels seen immediately prior to the pandemic.
Record levels of overseas migration drove most of the population growth in the September 2022 quarter
- Australia’s population grew by 419,000 people over the year to September 2022, an increase of 1.6 per cent. This was much higher than growth over the year to September 2021 of 67,000 people (0.3 per cent).
- Population in the September 2022 quarter grew by 129,000 people or 0.5 per cent, driven mostly by strong net overseas migration (106,000), while natural increase (22,000) was the lowest in the history of this data series (Chart 1).
- Record levels of overseas migration were driven by a continued recovery in quarterly arrivals, which reached 166,000, while quarterly departures decreased slightly to 60,000.
- Overseas migration grew to 304,000 and drove most of the annual population growth over the year to September 2022 (Chart 2). This was the largest net inflow of overseas migrants since the year to March 2009.
- This was due to a strong recovery in arrivals partially offset by a slight increase in departures, which are still below 2019 levels (Chart 2).
- This was also the first annual period since international travel restrictions were introduced in which all four quarters experienced a net inflow of overseas migrants.
- Natural increase fell to 115,000 over the year to September 2022, 18.1 per cent lower than the previous year.
- There were 188,000 deaths over the year to September 2022, an increase of 10.8 per cent from the previous year. This period covered peaks in COVID‑19 deaths in January and July 2022 (also see analysis of the ABS Provisional Mortality Statistics). There were 303,000 births over the year to September 2022, a decrease of 2.3 per cent from the previous year.
- Quarterly interstate moves were 74,000 in the September 2022 quarter, down from 92,000 in the June 2022 quarter. Decreased moves in the September quarter are a usual seasonal pattern, however this was the largest September quarter fall since 2016. Interstate moves were significantly below pre‑pandemic levels, with September 2022 quarter moves 15.2 per cent lower compared to the September 2019 quarter.
- The number of annual interstate moves fell to 383,000 over the year to September 2022 (Chart 3), down from a record high of 485,000 over the year to March 2022. However, it is unlikely all recorded interstate moves were actually made in these periods. Interstate moves are estimated using change of address data captured through Medicare, which have seen an unprecedented increase due to widespread updating of Medicare records as people received vaccinations for COVID‑19, particularly in the June to December 2021 quarters.
All states and territories experienced population growth in the year to September 2022
- Annual population growth increased in all states and territories except for the Northern Territory in the year to September 2022 (Chart 4).
- New South Wales and Victoria saw a continued increase in annual population growth, driven by high overseas migration, and both have returned to growth rates seen just prior to the pandemic.
- Queensland and Western Australia continued to be the fastest growing jurisdictions in the year to September 2022. The Northern Territory and Tasmania were the slowest growing jurisdictions. Both had a comparatively smaller share of overseas migrants, and the Northern Territory also experienced negative interstate migration (Chart 5).
- Queensland maintained the largest net inflow of interstate migrants over the year to September 2022, followed by Western Australia and South Australia. Tasmania had net interstate migration slightly above zero. All other states and territories had net outflows of interstate migration.
Net moves to regions have fallen but are still above pre‑pandemic levels
- The National, state and territory population release now contains statistics on internal migration between Greater Capital City Statistical Areas and regional areas of Australia. Similar data were previously published as part of Regional internal migration estimates, provisional. Data are not available from June 2021 to December 2021.
- Net internal migration for regions outside capital cities was 7,100 in the September 2022 quarter, down from a peak of 11,800 in the March 2021 quarter but above levels seen immediately prior to the pandemic (Chart 6).
- The number of capital city residents moving to regions has fallen below levels seen prior to the onset of the pandemic, but this has been more than offset by the fall in the number of departures from regions to capital cities.
Note: No data available for June 2021 to December 2021.
|State||ERP||ERP Increase||ERP Increase||Natural
* Includes other territories comprising Jervis Bay Territory, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island
|Release||Former catalogue||Release date|
|Regional population, 2021–22||3218.0||20/04/2023|
|National, state and territory population, December 2022||3101.0||15/06/2023|
|National, state and territory population, March 2023||3101.0||14/09/2023|
Further detail regarding the latest population data is available from the ABS in National, state and territory population, September 2022.