Posted 13/6/07


Aussie population to top 21 million


The Age, June 5, 2007 - 3:45PM


Australia's population is set to top the 21 million mark later this month as data released on Tuesday shows births in 2006 were the highest since 1971.


The preliminary results from the 2006 Census shows the Australian population grew 1.4 per cent during the 12 months ended December 31, 2006, as the country recorded 265,922 births, the second highest on record.


However, registered deaths were the highest ever recorded at 133,900 in 2006.


Migration also increased Australia's population with preliminary overseas migration figures accounting for an additional 147,700 people in the year.


The population had reached 20,852,000 by the end of 2006, up 1.4 per cent from a year earlier.


Australian statistician, Brian Pink, said that using assumptions based on recent population trends, and information from the population estimates, the ABS Population Clock was expected to reach 21 million on June 29 this year.


However, he cautioned that the clock was an illustration of the way the population changes, and is not a literal measure.


All states and territories experienced positive population growth over the 12 months ended December 31, 2006.


Western Australia recorded the largest percentage gain at 2.1 per cent growth and Tasmania the smallest at 0.6 per cent.


Over 2001 to 2006, all states and territories showed an increase in population with Queensland showing the largest percentage gain at a growth rate of 12.7 per cent.


South Australia and NSW both experienced the smallest percentage gain, with 3.7 per cent growth each.


The first detailed results of the 2006 census will be released on June 27.