Australia's population growth hits 20-year high

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Australia's population grew at its fastest rate since 1988 fuelled by a sharp increase in overseas migration, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

During 2007, the country's population rose by 1.6% - 331,900 people - to a total of 21,181,000.

Western Australia and the Northern Territory racked up the highest growth at 2.4%, followed by Queensland (2.3%), Victoria (1.6%), ACT (1.3%), NSW (1.1%), South Australia (1%) and Tasmania (0.8%).

Net overseas migration accounted for more than half (56%) of the population increase, while natural population increase (excess of births over deaths) added a further 147,400 people (or 44%).

The overseas migration increase represents an average of more than 1,100 immigrant arrivals and 620 departures per day.

Queensland and WA remain the leaders in interstate migration, gaining 25,600 and 3,800 people respectively from the other states.

The NT (860), ACT (350) and Tasmania (290) attracted residents from interstate, while NSW (-24,000), SA (-3,800) and Victoria (-3,100) lost residents.

As at 31 December 2007, the resident population for each state and territory was:


NSW 6,927,000
Victoria 5,246,000
Queensland 4,228,000
South Australia 1,592,00
Western Australia 2,131,000
Tasmania 495,800
Northern Territory 217,600
ACT 340,000



Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

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