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

Glynis Quinlan 23 June 2019 29

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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29 Responses to
ACT has second-highest population growth but fewer births and more deaths
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9:59 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?

1:21 pm 24 Jun 19

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

    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.

    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..

    3:55 pm 24 Jun 19

    Mark "involved in environmental groups". Of course.

    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.

    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

12:53 pm 24 Jun 19

I'm doing my bit

9:55 am 24 Jun 19


9:02 pm 23 Jun 19

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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.

3:10 pm 23 Jun 19

Refer to the starting part of the movie "Idiocracy" (linked below), it's a surprisingly accurate summation of what's happening around the world. It's a silly comedy, but its been very accurate of late! Basically the dumb are out-breeding the smart... and because the ACT has a higher proportion of people who are well educated compared to the rest of the nation (not having a go, its fact), it could very well be a choice not to have children until later in life. That has ongoing consequences (leaving it too late, have less children etc). The dumb however have no such thinking... and procreate at will and in greater and greater numbers. Idiocracy also explains how Donald Trump became President, and it was made 15 years ago! It highlights where we are headed as a consequence... spoiler alert, it's not good! The world is getting dumber as a collective group.

    10:20 pm 23 Jun 19

    Dumb? I hope you realise it is the "dumb" people who work in the factories, and do the low skilled jobs, that make the lives of "intelligent" people more comfortable.

2:14 pm 23 Jun 19

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

2:05 pm 23 Jun 19

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

We also have an aged population.

2:04 pm 23 Jun 19

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

1:31 pm 23 Jun 19

Cause of the power hungry

1:15 pm 23 Jun 19

too cold

1:13 pm 23 Jun 19

“Thé educated” bigots, lols

12:18 pm 23 Jun 19

This is good news for cats :)

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.

11:04 am 23 Jun 19

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

10:58 am 23 Jun 19

Maybe higher infertility?

10:52 am 23 Jun 19

Fewer births? - we’re doing it for the environment. Population growth must be addressed as a major stress on the environment. Even though it’s the rich nations that use more of the worlds resources.

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.

    3:04 pm 23 Jun 19

    But conversely the less educated are still breeding in higher numbers and from an earlier age. Intergenerationally they are out-breeding the smart.

    3:07 pm 23 Jun 19

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

    6:33 pm 23 Jun 19

    interestingly the statistics point out that IQ's are lowering as a result

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