Annual growth eased to 1.3 percent, which was last recorded in the December quarter of 2005.
About 60 percent of Australia’s population growth is driven by net foreign migration.
During the June quarter, net outmigration was minus 5877. This was the first negative quarter of net outmigration since 1993.
New South Wales, which lost 2,999 net people to other countries, and Victoria, which lost 1,852 residents, were the most affected by the shift in migration flows. Only South Australia and the ACT recorded net increases in the number of immigrants during the period.
Victoria also experienced a net influx of 3,042 residents to other parts of the country, the first time this happened in 2008. This was before Victoria’s statewide lockdown.
Since the end of 2014, Victoria’s population has been the fastest growing of any state or territory, but it has now relinquished that title to Queensland which added 13,028 residents during the quarter. While now the fastest growing part of the country, it was the smallest quarterly increase since 2000.
New South Wales, the most populous state, now has a population of 8.2 million with population growth dropping to 0.9%. Victoria has a population of 6.7 million while the least populated is the Northern Territory with 246,000 residents.
While immigration has traditionally driven population growth in Australia, natural growth is slowing.
Over the past year, there were 304,1000 births and 167,000 deaths. The natural increase in the population was 137,100, a decrease of 3.2 percent over the past 12 months.
The federal budget assumed the slowest increase in Australia’s population since the end of World War I, due in part to negative net foreign migration and a lower national fertility rate.
Treasury Secretary Josh Friedenberg said on Thursday that those expectations had not changed.
CommSec chief economist Ryan Filsman said the 321,000 increase in population was the smallest in 9 years with a growth rate in NSW below 1 percent for the first time in more than 13 years.
Shane is a Senior Economic Reporter for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.
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