Australia’s population growth has surged to its highest level in 15 years, primarily driven by high overseas migration, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The figures show that in the 12 months ending in March, Australia’s population increased by 2.17 percent, reaching 26.47 million people. This growth rate is the highest since the end of 2008 when it was 2.19 percent.
The ABS attributes this increase largely to the influx of migrants following the Covid-19 pandemic. Net overseas migration accounted for 81 percent of the growth, adding 454,400 people to the population in the year to March 2023. In comparison, during the 12 months ending in March 2022, when international borders were mostly closed, the population grew by just 1.0 percent.
Over the past year, 681,000 migrants arrived in Australia, a 103 percent increase from the previous year, while 226,600 people left the country. Natural population increase contributed 108,800 people to the growth, with 301,200 births and 192,300 deaths registered during the year. Population growth was highest in Western Australia (2.8 percent) and lowest in Tasmania (0.4 percent).