Queensland’s population is growing at double the national average

The ONE state where the population is growing at double the national average – sparking a housing crisis

  • Queensland’s population grew by 1.8 per cent or 94,300 in the year to March
  • This was double Australia’s national average annual increase of 0.9 per cent 
  • Sunshine State population increase almost equal to NSW and Victorian growth 

Queensland‘s population is growing at double the national average and sparking a housing crisis.

The Sunshine State in the year to March added 94,300 people, mainly as a result of interstate migration, with Australia’s border only opening up to international arrivals in December.

This was almost as many people as Australia’s two most populated states combined –  with NSW recording 49,500 new arrivals and Victoria adding 46,500 new people. 

Queensland's population is growing at double the national average and sparking a housing shortage crisis. The Sunshine State (Surfers Paradis on the Gold Coast pictured) in the year to March added 94,300 people

Queensland’s population is growing at double the national average and sparking a housing shortage crisis. The Sunshine State (Surfers Paradis on the Gold Coast pictured) in the year to March added 94,300 people

New Australian Bureau of Statistics data, released on Wednesday, showed Queensland’s annual population growth pace of 1.8 per cent was double the Australian average of 0.9 per cent.

Australian population growth 

NEW SOUTH WALES: Up 0.6 per cent or 49,500 people to 8,150,800

VICTORIA: Up 0.7 per cent or 46,500 people to 6,615,100

QUEENSLAND: Up 1.8 per cent or 94,300 people to 5,301,600

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Up 0.8 per cent or 13,800 people to 1,809,100

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Up 1.1 per cent or 29,000 people to 2,760,400

TASMANIA: Up 0.5 per cent or 3,100 people to 567,400

NORTHERN TERRITORY: Up 0.3 per cent or 900 people to 249,900

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY: Up 0.6 per cent or 2,700 people to 453,400 

AUSTRALIA: Up 0.9 per cent or 239,800 people to 25,912,600

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics population growth in the year to March 31, 2022 

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Queensland’s annual population growth was also the fastest since September 2013. 

Despite being home to 20 per cent of Australia’s 25.9million people, Queensland accounted for 39 per cent of the population growth.

The 94,300 people who moved to Queensland or were born there made up a large chunk of Australia’s 239,800 population increase from net annual immigration and births minus deaths.

Queensland’s population growth was not far off the 110,000 net annual overseas immigration level, which the ABS attributed to the border being reopened on December 15 last year. 

Western Australia was the second-fastest growing state with its population expanding by 1.1 per cent or 29,000 people.

Apart from that, Queensland was the only other state with a population growth pace above the national average with New South Wales having a 0.6 per cent growth level, compared with Victoria’s 0.7 per cent.

South Australia grew by 0.8 per cent, or 13,800 people.

Tasmania added 3,100 new residents, for a 0.5 per cent growth pace.

The Australian Capital Territory added 2,700 people for a 0.6 per cent growth rate while the Northern Territory had the weakest growth level of 0.3 per cent as 900 people moved there. 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last week convened a housing summit, with vacancy rates particularly tight in her state. 

Brisbane’s vacancy rate in August of 0.7 per cent was almost half the 1.3 per cent level of August 2021, SQM Research data showed.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured right with her deputy Steven Miles) last week convened a housing summit, with vacancy rates particularly tight in her state

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured right with her deputy Steven Miles) last week convened a housing summit, with vacancy rates particularly tight in her state

Sydney’s vacancy rate has also halved but to 1.3 per cent from 2.6 per cent, as Melbourne’s vacancy rate dropped to 1.4 per cent from 3.5 per cent.

Brisbane’s median house price last year grew by 30.4 per cent to $782,967, CoreLogic data showed.

Since January, mid-point house prices have increased by 5.9 per cent to $864,149, making it one of Australia’s strongest capital city markets despite falls in July and August as a result of recent interest rate rises.

During that time, Sydney’s median house price in 2022 so far fell by 7.3 per cent to $1.3million as Melbourne’s mid-point value dropped by 5.1 per cent to $948,879.

The ABS estimated Australia had a net annual immigration pace of 109,600 based on 320,000 overseas arrivals and 210,400 overseas departures.

The natural increase from births minus deaths was 130,200. 

Net overseas immigration rose by 183 per cent, with the year to March including the December 15 reopening of the border to foreigners for the first time since March 2020.

Overseas departures increased by 1.5 per cent. 

Brisbane's vacancy rate in August of 0.7 per cent was almost half the 1.3 per cent level of August 2021, SQM Research data showed (pictured is the Story Bridge looking towards New Farm)

Brisbane’s vacancy rate in August of 0.7 per cent was almost half the 1.3 per cent level of August 2021, SQM Research data showed (pictured is the Story Bridge looking towards New Farm)

The Reserve Bank of Australia in September raised interest rates for the fifth straight month to a seven-year high of 2.35 per cent.

The minutes of that meeting, released on Tuesday, noted international arrivals would support economic activity.

‘Members noted that domestic activity would benefit from increased numbers of foreign tourists and students, which are recorded as services exports,’ it said.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said a bigger pool of labour from higher population growth would limit a surge in wages, with unemployment in August at just 3.5 per cent. 

‘The lift in population growth will alleviate pressures in the job market and serve to support spending,’ he said.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers, a Queenslander, hinted the upcoming October budget would focus on boosting sluggish wages growth, with pay levels in the year to June rising by just 2.6 per cent or less than half the 6.1 per cent inflation level.

‘When it comes to cost of living relief, we have said that there will be responsible cost of living relief in the October budget,’ he said on Tuesday.

‘It will be focused on childcare and medicines and also our efforts to get wages moving again, because wages are a bigger part of the story than people will often write when it comes to cost of living pressures.’

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