Covid Era Population Growth

ABS population last week to March 2021 was the first full year of the covid era: Australia’s population growth close to zero

It was a barely positive 0.1% with external immigration mostly blocked. Which sits oddly with widely reported regional housing shortages when national population growth is below national dwelling construction.

Internally there were big differences between states with Queensland the beneficiary of interstate migration:

Population 032021 1

While 0.9% growth driven by interstate migration into Queensland topped the nation it’s still below (about half) previous growth levels.

Electoral enrolments are a useful imperfect indicator which are also an input to the ABS regional population algorithm. Where they are less reliable is the youngest population cohort entering the electoral roll. They may also include previous external immigration flowing to citizenship.

However, Leichhardt is the only Federal northern division which has shown a growth trend since the covid onset. Data here is variation from the Queensland average of 30 Queensland divisions gazetted and posted by AEC. Variations greater than 10% from the average will be extinguished in any redistributions.

Population 032021 2

There were previously some significant declines in Leichhardt particularly in the initial months of 2020 in the interim covid emergent period, which was also replicated in Herbert (Townsville). Since then the trend in Leichhardt turned around and is the only northern division with a positive trend relative to the Queensland average.

Note: ABS national dwelling completions year to March Qtr 2021 Total houses 103,562; Total residential other (units & stuff) 77,135. Total ABS national population growth year to March Qtr 2021 35,700 persons.

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