Net interstate migration to Qld remains at low levels


Yesterday, the ABS reported (see the media release):

Queensland no longer outstripping nation

Queensland’s population growth has slowed to its lowest rate in 15 years, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

“The sunshine state’s growth rate was 1.5 per cent in the year to September 2014.” said Phil Browning from the ABS. “While this is similar to the national growth rate, it is well below the state’s 15-year average annual rate of 2.1 per cent,”

“This slower growth is due to a nine year low in the state’s net overseas migration and one of the lowest net interstate migration increases in over 30 years.

I’ve been commenting for some time on how the big driver of our slower population growth has been the big fall in net interstate migration to Queensland. People from NSW and Victoria are no longer coming to Queensland in the large numbers they were, as job opportunities in Queensland have declined relative to other States, and the gap between our house prices and theirs is no longer as large.

Previous related posts include:

Interstate migration to Qld remains low – overall gain, but net loss to Victoria continues

When will interstate migration to Qld recover?

Also, Queensland Treasury’s information brief on the latest population data is useful:

Population growth, Queensland

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3 Responses to Net interstate migration to Qld remains at low levels

  1. Katrina Drake says:

    Queensland population growth has slowed – all I can say is – Good !

    Queensland families have for the past 20 years been sticking firmly to a total fertility rate of 1.8 – 2.1 . This would indicate that Queenslanders actually do not want the population to increase, otherwise they would be having more babies.

    Queensland families make this rational choice, based on their ability to look after their children, and the impact on their lifestyle, household economy, and the environment.

    I do not understand why politicians and economists keep pushing the misconception ( pun intended) the the only way to grow an economy is to increase population. Queenslanders obviously do not accept the argument that Increased population, leads to increase an the economy, leads to increased standard of living.

    Queenslanders prove by their actions that they accept the opposite, that an increased population, leads to increase an the economy, leads to destruction of their natural resources, leads to decrease in the standard of living.

    Perhaps the rational action is to base our economy on a lower population growth.

    Queenslanders are rightly very concerned about the the uncontrolled development affecting the reef, dredging, fracking, coal seam gas extraction, water quality and land degradation.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Katrina, thanks for your comment. I didn’t mean to provoke a debate over our optimal population in this post, only to point out the economic factors behind our lower interstate migration and population growth.

      There are definitely other ways to grow an economy than population growth, such as by increasing the workforce participation of the population and productivity. When he was Treasury Secretary, Ken Henry talked about the Three Ps: Productivity, Participation and Population.

      And I agree we need to think about the environmental consequences of population growth. That said, I think Australia can support a much larger population than we have currently, and that the current immigration program brings positive benefits to the country.

  2. Katrina Drake says:

    Thank-you Gene, nor was I intent on provoking a debate on optimal population. My point was largely, that the government of the day and their agencies do not listen to the will of the people, but continue to push their flawed policies of economic growth, population, migration on us.

    Queenslanders appear to want a slowed population growth. We must work with it.

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