Australia's population soars to new record

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Australia's booming population is showing no sign of slowing, with overall growth surging by 1.7% to 21.37 million over the year - its fastest pace in 19 years.

A record 213,500 people immigrated to Australia as at 30 June 2008, accounting for more than half (59%) of the total growth. The strong migration number is complemented by the equally solid number of babies born in the same period.

Western Australia continues to rack up the fastest population growth (2.7%), followed by Queensland and NT (2.3%) and Victoria (1.8%).

Craig James, chief equities economist with CommSec, said the rising number of migrants coming to Australia will add to the demand for homes in 2009. "More people in Australia means greater demand for houses, roads, schools, hospitals and a raft of retail goods, and as such is providing much-needed stimulus in trying times for the global economy. Population growth in NSW is now the strongest in seven years, boosting the outlook for Australia's biggest economy."


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