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‘Our population will be smaller and older’: a new report details how Australia’s population has changed after the pandemic

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Australia's population is now forecast to be "smaller and older" than it was expected to be prior to the pandemic.
'Our population will be smaller and older': a new report details how Australia's population has changed after the pandemic

A new Federal Government report states Australia’s population is now forecast to be “smaller and older” than it was expected to be prior to the pandemic.

The national population is expected to grow over the coming decade – although at a slower rate than previously forecast – with the age of Australians also expected to rise.

Population growth

The Centre for Population says Australia’s population is expected to reach 29.9 million by the end of the 2032-33 financial year. This is two years later than was previously expected.

It’s believed Australia’s population hit 26 million at the end of the last financial year.

The report says the pandemic impacted the population size mostly due to “international border restrictions limiting overseas migration”.

Getting to 30 million

Overseas migration is expected to be a bigger contributor to population growth than natural increases (meaning more Australians being born than dying).

A natural increase of 117,000 is expected in the 2032-33 financial year, while overseas migration is forecast to add 235,000 to the population.

How old will we be?

Australia has an ageing population, with the proportion of people aged 65 and over doubling in the past 70 years. This is due to “declining fertility and increasing life expectancies”.

The report forecasts the median age in Australia will be 40.1 by 2033 – a rise from 38.6 in 2022.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers called ageing an “ongoing demographic challenge… [that] will continue to influence how our population evolves over time.”

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