National population growth to slow to 0.2 per cent in 2020-21

Net overseas migration has slumped since March, with Australia expected to record its first net outflow since the end of World War II this financial year.

The Federal Government’s first Population Statement says pandemic restrictions are also expected to affect household decisions about family size and migration between and within states and territories.

“Covid-19 will likely have an impact on Australia’s future population of a magnitude not seen for several generations,” the report says.

However, the Centre for Population is projecting that annual population growth will climb to around 1.3 per cent by 2023-24 and then decline slightly to around 1.2 per cent by the end of the decade to 2031-31.

Since 1989, Australia’s annual population growth has averaged 1.4 percent, one of the highest rates in the developed world. In that time, the population has risen from 16.8 million to 25.7 million today.

The statement is forecasting that Sydney’s population will grow to around 6.0 million by 30 June 2031 by which time it will no longer be Australia’s biggest city.

Melbourne is projected to become Australia’s most heavily populated city in 2026-27, growing to an estimated 6.2 million people by 30 June 2031.

The statement examines how Australia’s population has changed and how it is expected to change in the future, and spans states and territories, capital cities and regions, by age and gender.

It will be published annually.