Insights from the 2022 Population Statement
The 2022 Population Statement details the early impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic on Australia’s population and projects its impact over the next decade.
Population growth over this period is forecast to increase from 0.1 per cent in 2020–21 to 1.4 per cent by 2022–23, before declining slightly to 1.2 per cent by 2032–33.
Net overseas migration is forecast to increase from a net outflow of 85,000 in 2020–21 to a net inflow of 235,000 by 2022–23.
The impact of COVID‑19 is expected to vary across different parts of Australia. While most states and territories experienced a drop in population growth early in the pandemic, similar patterns of population growth that were experienced pre‑pandemic are forecast to return.
The impact of the pandemic is expected to be greatest in capital cities. In 2020–21, population growth fell to -0.3 per cent while population growth in rest‑of‑state areas fell to 1 per cent. However, capital cities are forecast to return to higher growth rates than rest‑of‑state areas from 2021–22 as restrictions are relaxed and overseas migration returns.
Despite being the most affected city by the pandemic, Melbourne is projected to become the fastest growing capital city from 2023–24 onwards, overtaking Sydney to become the nation’s largest city in 2031–32 with just over 6 million people.