Pete Wargent blogspot


'Must-read, must-follow, one of the best analysts in Australia' - Stephen Koukoulas, ex-Senior Economics Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard.

'One of Australia's brightest financial minds, must-follow for accurate & in-depth analysis' - David Scutt, Markets & Economics Editor, Business Insider.

'I've been investing 40 years & still learn new concepts from Pete; one of the best commentators...and not just a theorist!' - Michael Yardney, Amazon #1 bestseller.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Population growth accelerates...or does it?

Population picks up the pace

As usual, I'll look at today's Australian Demographics Statistics for the second quarter of calendar year 2016 in two short parts: first national, and then at the state level.

OK, let's go...

With population growth in the traditionally slower June quarter of +78,600 being a massive +19.2 per cent increase on the prior year comparative, I guess it's fairly inevitable that these figures will be reported as an acceleration or key cyclical turning point in Australian population growth. 

And indeed, the annual rate of population growth of +337,800 or +1.4 per cent is considerably stronger than what we have see reported before (recall the hand-wringing when the Q3 2015 figure was reported as just +313,200). 

However, these figures were always understated as was previously disclosed by the statistician, and have now been corrected. 

In reality, what we're seeing is that the rate of population growth has stabilised (i.e. it was never falling as much as some people believed). 

Births backlog erased

A key reason for the understatement was a backlog in processing births in New South Wales and Victoria.

That backlog has now been erased, and you can see the unusual spike in births in the chart below.

As such the natural increase in the population has now been corrected. 

In short, the natural increase in the population wasn't falling much after all, as you'd likely expect in a country with both a growing and ageing population. 

The wrap

Overall, the population increased by +337,800 or +1.4 per cent to 24,127,200 over the year to June 2016 (meaning that today in mid-December the population is projected to be just a notch under 24.3 million). 

It's nice to get one thing right, having been trolled hard and often about my population predictions last year, though only a particularly petty person would go back and seek out those trolling messages (as he casts a furtive glance across the keyboard for the 'ctrl + F' function...).

With population growth fading in Western Australia and declining towards zero in South Australia, an important implication of these figures is that population growth in Melbourne and Sydney in particular has been tracking at a stronger level than some commentators previously thought. 

This has hugely significant implications for calculations of the supposed apartment glut in Melbourne in particular!

Let's take a look at the state level figures next up! 

Why am I using exclamation marks!