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Australia Experiences Highest Population Growth in History

By Tim Graham

Australia’s population hit a new record high of 26.2 million people last December, a result of unprecedented levels of overseas migration, as seen in the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

This is a massive increase of 496,800 people or 1.9%, the largest in Australian history. 

The growth rate of 1.9% is high, but not a record; growth rates were much higher back in the gold rush days, and also after World War II, although those were off a smaller population base. 

The amount of net migration jumped to 387,000 for the 2022 calendar year, showing how much population growth now relies on overseas movement to Australia. 

The largest state, New South Wales, still experienced a net interstate migration loss but not at as fast a rate as during the pandemic. 

On the other hand, Queensland’s population growth rate moderated and is no longer the fastest-growing state.

Instead, Western Australia has returned to the title, with a growth of 2.27%, nearly 62,000 people, for the calendar year.

Victoria’s population growth also made a big turnaround from the pandemic, rising 2.1% over 137,000 people boosted by a record 120,000 new arrivals from overseas. 

In South Australia, net interstate migration has almost returned to pre-COVID levels, accompanied by almost 24,000 new overseas migrants.

Tasmania also experienced a high number of overseas migrants and, although it experienced a strong interstate migration influx during the pandemic, it has since returned to a small loss in this area. 

Australia’s population growth was a result of unique conditions of post-pandemic demand and a tight job market driving migration at record levels.

This growth is expected to continue, and while it can be volatile, the restoration of normal migration flows can be expected to contribute to the nation’s population in the years to come.


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