Friday, September 04, 2009

ABS releases new population projections - implications for New England - 1

Note to readers: I felt a bit dumb about this post. I found the release referred to on a click-through. I read the release date as 09 when it was in fact 08! Now I remember it coming out.

I have let it stand because I want to comment anyway!

Today the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) released new population projections for Australia. The chart shows the results. Series C is low, series A combines higher migration with higher birthrates, while series A is sort of a mid point. Australian Population Projections September 09

As ABS points out, they are projections, not forecasts. I looked at this most recently in Belshaw’s World: Problems with projections.

On the midpoint projections, the population of New South Wales is projected to reach 10.2 million people by 2056, an increase of 3.3 million people (or 48%) since 30 June 2007.

Series B projects Sydney to remain the most populous city in Australia, with 7.0 million people in 2056. This means that around 2.5 million of the 3.3 million increase will go to Sydney. We need to exercise a little care here. While the ABS talks about Sydney, they in fact mean the Sydney statistical division. This includes the Blue Mountains and Central Coast.

The ABS does not provide regional or local break-ups. However, we can draw from other trends to make some judgements.

The number actually show in a rather startling way the importance of to Sydney of overseas migration.

The mid range projections show Sydney attracting a bit over 54,000 overseas migrants per annum, the rest of the state something over 2,000. Quite a big difference isn't it?

Partially offsetting this, Sydney is projected to lose 34,000 people per annum through interstate migration. By contrast, the rest of NSW is expected to gain around 14,000 per from interstate migration. Those already living in Sydney continue to vote with their feet. Sydney rises or falls on Australia's migration program.

The NSW South will continue to gain in importance relative to the North. We don't have a capital, they do.The population of the Australian Capital Territory is projected to increase by 169,500 people (50%) between 30 June 2007 and 2056, reaching 509,300 people. As as happened over recent decades, this growth will flow through to population growth in surrounding areas. Increasingly, Canberra is taking over from Sydney as the metropolis for Southern NSW.

I will stop here until I have had a chance to analyse the figures further.

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