Yesterday’s new population data from the ABS were important because they showed Queensland’s population growth falling below the national average (see chart below). Partly this is due to a very low level of interstate migration (second chart below), which I’ve commented on before (When will interstate migration to Qld recover?). This will come as a surprise to many. For a long time, Queensland was known for being a fast growing State, attracting tens of thousands of migrants from Southern States each year. People were attracted by our climate, lifestyle, job opportunities and cheaper property prices. But property prices are no longer as attractive, population growth and congestion have compromised our lifestyle slightly, and the labour market has been weak. I’ve always been very optimistic about Queensland’s long-term prospects, but it’s difficult to see any turnaround in our population growth prospects in the near future, given the current state of the Queensland economy.