Australia’s Population
Source: ABS

Introducing Australia’sCentre for Population

Strong evidence. Deep insights. Collaborative approach.

Australia’s population story

Australia has a history of strong population growth. It has defined the Australia we know today — our world-class cities, our strong economy, our diverse communities, and our way of life.

For much of Australia’s history, population growth has been urban population growth. This trend is not unique to Australia but Australia is more urbanised than many countries. The proportion of people concentrated in cities, and particularly capital cities, is larger now than at any time in our history.

Australia’s population storyAustralia’s population story legend
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Created with Sketch. living in one of our capital cities Australians

Our major cities continue to attract people. Sydney, Melbourne, and South East Queensland together accounted for 75 per cent of population growth over the last three years.

Strong population growth in Australia’s three largest cities is spilling over into surrounding areas and this is creating vibrant cities which are becoming strong population centres in their own right.

At the same time, some of Australia’s smaller cities and regional or remote areas are experiencing low growth or declining populations.

But Australia’s population story is not just one of growth or decline. It is the story of a diverse group of people.

Australians come from every corner of the globe. We speak over 300 languages (including 150 indigenous languages) and practice over 100 religions.

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Centre for Population

Strong evidence. Deep insights. Collaborative approach.

Why have a Centre for Population?

Population change affects every aspect of Australians’ lives.

It is important to understand how Australia’s population is changing and the implications of these changes.

Our ability to understand and communicate the nuances of population change, and coordinate action, is vital to boosting living standards for all Australians. The Centre’s three objectives support this.

Our objectives

What we are working on


Further information on population concepts and numbers is available in the Centre for Population’s fact sheets.

Planning for Australia’s Future Population

Planning for Australia’s Future Population

The Government is easing population pressures on Australia’s big capitals and supporting the growth of smaller cities and regions. By managing the rate of growth through the migration program and planning and investing in infrastructure, housing and services, the Government is ensuring that we are meeting the needs of current and future generations. 

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Shaping a Nation

Shaping a Nation

Australia has long stood out from other similar nations as a country shaped by strong population growth and migration. Shaping a Nation traces the growth and changes in Australia’s population and migration story and the social, economic and fiscal impacts this has had.

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The Centre for Population is working closely with States, Territories and Local government to progress population policy. We also welcome collaboration from academia, business, community groups and the public.

Created with Sketch. October 2019 Treasurers’ Forum on Population Finalisation of the National Population and Planning Framework Annual Population Statement Commence publication of Centre for Population research and insights