ACT has second-highest population growth but fewer births and more deaths

Glynis Quinlan 21 June 2019 22

The ACT recorded a decrease of seven per cent in registered births in 2018 – the biggest percentage decrease of all states and territories.

The ACT recorded the second highest growth rate in Australia last year but also the biggest percentage increase in deaths and decrease in births in the nation.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics’ figures show that the territory’s population grew by 1.8 per cent to reach 423,800 people in 2018, with 7,574 new residents choosing to make their home in the ACT.

This rate of growth was equal with Queensland’s but second to Victoria’s, with that state recording a growth rate of 2.2 per cent in 2018.

More than half of the ACT’s population growth in 2018 (around 53 per cent) came from net overseas migration, representing an extra 4,014 people.

Natural growth (births minus deaths) made up about 43 per cent of the ACT population increase – or 3,247 people.

The ACT was one of only four jurisdictions to see an increase in net interstate migration last year, amounting to a small increase of 313 people (4 per cent of the ACT population increase). The other states were Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.

However, while the total number of births registered in 2018 increased in most states and territories, the ACT recorded a decrease of 7.0 per cent (the biggest decrease).

The total number of deaths registered last year decreased in half the states and territories but the ACT recorded the largest percentage increase at 3.7 per cent.

Overall, Australia’s population grew by 1.6 per cent during 2018 according to the ABS data released on Thursday (June 20).

“Steady growth over recent quarters has resulted in a population of 25.2 million people at 31 December 2018,” said ABS demography director Beidar Cho.

The number of births in Australia last year 2018 reached an all-time high of 314,900, with 161,900 of these births being male and 153,000 female. The previous record was 312,200 in 2012.

Natural increase accounted for 38.6 per cent of Australia’s population growth, while net overseas migration accounted for the remaining 61.4 per cent.

Net overseas migration in Australia for 2018 was 248,400 people, which was higher than the 2017 figure of 241,700. This was due to a decline in overseas migration departures and relatively stable overseas migration arrivals.

The number of births in Australia reached an all-time high last year but decreased significantly in the ACT. Why do you think that is? Let us know in the comments below.

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22 Responses to ACT has second-highest population growth but fewer births and more deaths
Clara Clara 1:47 pm 20 Jul 19

I agree with Mel Smith, Kerry Dent, Carole Ford, Jeremy Colero, Chris Cross, and Mark McEwan.

“Canberrans are the most educated people in the country, and are twice as likely to hold post-graduate qualifications than Australians outside the capital.” ~Stephanie Anderson

Decades of research have shown that a more highly educated population has a lower birthrate than its counterpart. The reasons are varied; but, to name a few, can include a focus on careers, high cost of living, and different values regarding marriage and family structure.

Furthermore, those who think deeply about world affairs (pollution, conflict, drought, famine, failed economies etc) can see growing populations, inadequate supply of basic resources in many places, and resulting mass migrations. Pressures that end up affecting us all.

No system is limitless.

In general, the more highly educated understand this. It is therefore not suprising that bringing such a child into this world, at this time, is often considered unwise, unkind, and best avoided. It is also not surprising that Canberrans would understand this.

Veronika Sain Veronika Sain 9:57 pm 25 Jun 19

Would be nice if the report explained why there was a 3.7 percent increase in deaths which is higher than other states and territories. Were they as a result of hospital care, aged care, natural deaths, suicides, murders or accidents?

Mark McEwen Mark McEwen 1:21 pm 24 Jun 19

There’s a growing uncertainty about bringing kids up in a world at risk by climate change.

    Colin Rash Colin Rash 1:35 pm 24 Jun 19

    Come on Mark, I know it's a big issue but I don't think it's anywhere near as big as social problems.

    Mark McEwen Mark McEwen 1:43 pm 24 Jun 19

    Colin, you would be surprised. 1 in 3 women under 30 involved in environmental groups are reconsidering having kids at all. Read this..

    Colin Rash Colin Rash 3:55 pm 24 Jun 19

    Mark "involved in environmental groups". Of course.

    Mark McEwen Mark McEwen 4:11 pm 24 Jun 19

    Colin, correct, they’ve done their research and mostly comprise of educated and / or university students. Even still, makes up a large and growing number.

    Sarah Rooke Sarah Rooke 4:51 pm 24 Jun 19

    I know a lot of people with this exact thought! Why on earth would you want to put your children in to such a world. And mark is right, pretty much all of the are higher education, intelligent people

Lyndon Zoukowski Lyndon Zoukowski 12:53 pm 24 Jun 19

I'm doing my bit

Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 9:55 am 24 Jun 19


Rastislav Zrelak Rastislav Zrelak 9:02 pm 23 Jun 19

We are helping this year 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 5:50 pm 23 Jun 19

“However, while the total number of births registered in 2018 increased in most states and territories, the ACT recorded a decrease of 7.0 per cent (the biggest decrease).”

Time will tell whether that’s a trend or a blip, but if it is the former, it may be that there is (as some commentators have suggested) a trend of people moving across the border for more affordable housing – of the sort that they want to raise children in.

Linda Gillespie Linda Gillespie 2:14 pm 23 Jun 19

Because the cost of living is so blasted high!!!!!

Jeremy Calero Jeremy Calero 2:05 pm 23 Jun 19

Higher the education rate is the less babies people generally have.

We also have an aged population.

Olga Read Olga Read 2:04 pm 23 Jun 19

Wait a couple of years and all the new migrants will be giving births

Shayne Borger Shayne Borger 1:31 pm 23 Jun 19

Cause of the power hungry

Annil Singh Annil Singh 1:15 pm 23 Jun 19

too cold

Carole Ford Carole Ford 11:35 am 23 Jun 19

The educated among us realise that too many children leads to an overcrowded world, shortage of resources and conflict.

Kerry Crampton Kerry Crampton 11:04 am 23 Jun 19

Because everyone lives in units with no room for kids? Lol

Smita Patel Smita Patel 10:58 am 23 Jun 19

Maybe higher infertility?

Mel Smith Mel Smith 10:16 am 23 Jun 19

Statistically, more educated people are choosing to be child free or to delay having children for longer. The ACT has a higher education level across the population because of the public service/private contracting for the public service which skews things. Interesting this data suggests it’s only the ACT though in Australia.

Japan is also experiencing a decline in birth rates as more women become educated to a higher level.

    Mel Smith Mel Smith 3:07 pm 23 Jun 19

    Chris Cross absolutely...idiocracy will potentially be a documentary in the future

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