Population Of Australia Hits 27 Million
The population of Australia hit 27 million this week, 30 years earlier than originally predicted, with serious ramifications for the nation’s housing supply, infrastructure and urban planning.
The Australian Treasury’s 2002 Intergenerational Report projected a population of 23.4 million people by this point in time. On January 25, the nation’s population hit 27 million, a milestone that has stirred a ‘population panic’ for many.
Demographer Mark McCrindle announced that although subsequent Intergenerational Report’s updated Australia’s true population growth, they still got the forecast very wrong.
“Road and public transport planning, land release, housing developments and infrastructure decisions are made with a view 20 years into the future,” McCrindle told the Daily Mail Australia. “The problem of Australia’s population increases massively outstripping the predictions is that housing supply has been based on the wrong numbers.”
He added: “With the current growth, Australia will reach 50 million by 2054, 23 million more than was forecasted just 22 years ago. This highlights the significant challenges we face for infrastructure, resources and city planning.”
2023 saw Australia’s largest ever population increase, a growth of more than 641,000 people – more than the entire population of Tasmania.
According to Mark McCrindle, the failure to accurately forecast how big population growth will be leads to real world problems, far beyond being just a statistic.
“For example, the fact is that land release zoning infrastructure development, like for example, the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, has a two or three decade planning cycle,” McCrindle said. “And so if the data for today’s infrastructure released two decades or so ago is way off, then no wonder we don’t have the right zoning planning and suburb development for today. And if we keep getting it wrong, if the data today is not going to be where we’re at in 20 years, then tomorrow’s plan is off as well.”
McCrindle also cited migration as being a big part of the problem. He pointed out that over the last 10 years, Australia’s average annual net population increase through migration was 235,000. But in the last 12 months, there has been a net increase of 518,000.
He is concerned that Australia is falling short of its housing development targets.
“We always fall short of our housing plans,” stated McCrindle. “And we always underestimate our population growth. That is our problem.”