Todays population figures make it clear: 60 per cent of NSWs growth is natural increase

06 April 2010

Projections released by the NSW Government today reveal that 60 per cent of NSWs anticipated population growth of 2.25 million by 2036 is natural increase, according to the Urban Taskforce.

The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said that the figures also show that 69 per cent of Sydneys projected population increase of 1.7 million by 2036 will come from natural increase, not migration.


The biggest drivers of the projected increase of NSWs population will be the decision of existing NSW residents to become parents and the fact that were all likely to live longer due to improved health outcomes.


The same report shows that migration will be a bigger factor for regional areas with only 33 per cent of the Hunters projected population growth of 187,000 by 2036 from natural increase and 31 per cent of the Illawarra population growth of 115,000 from natural increase.


Mr Gadiel said that todays figures assumed a disappointingly low level of growth for NSW and Sydney going forward.


Under these figures, Sydney and NSW will not be the same powerhouse they once were, Mr Gadiel said.


Between 1996 and 2001, NSWs annual population growth rate was 1.2 per cent, but these figures project a progressive decline in the annual growth rate to 0.8 per cent in 2036,1 Mr Gadiel said.


Thats a one third decline in our rate of population growth.


1 In 2006-2011 the NSW population is projected to grow at an annual rate of 1.1 per cent, and between 2011 and 2016 the rate of growth will by 1.0 per cent.


Sydneys annual population growth rate in the period 1996 to 2001 was 1.2 per cent, but todays figures project an annual growth rate of just 1.1 per cent between 2011 and 2016, falling to 1 per cent by 2036.


Thats a 17 per cent decline in Sydneys annual rate of population growth.


The Hunters population growth is projected to fall from 1.2 per cent a year between 1996 and 2001 to an annual rate of just 0.7 per cent in 2036. The Illawarras rate of growth similarly falls from 1.4 per cent to 0.6 per cent.


Mr Gadiel said NSW had traditionally been the engine room of Australias economy and that had been driven by strong population growth.


These projections suggest NSW is heading for a sustained period of mediocrity.


Governments and oppositions alike should harbour more ambition for NSW.


Mr Gadiel said, if nothing else, todays figure should bring greater focus on the need to kick-start NSWs housing supply.


NSW still produces new homes at less than half the rate, per head of population, than either Victoria or Queensland.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers. For every $1 million in construction expenditure, 27 jobs are created throughout the broader economy.



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