Qld’s population pendulum forecast to swing to an even greater Brisbane
Queensland’s population is expected to grow by more than 16 per cent by the time Brisbane hosts the Olympic Games in 2032, new federal government data shows.
And the population spread in Australia’s most decentralised state is tipped to sway towards the city, with most Queenslanders expected to live in Greater Brisbane by the time the Olympic flame is lit at the Gabba.
An excerpt of figures to be released by the Australian government’s Centre for Population on Friday shows Queensland is projected to reach 6.16 million inhabitants by 2032-33, a 16.12 per cent increase from the 5.3 million reported last year.
Greater Brisbane is expected to grow faster than the rest of Queensland, with a rate of 1.9 per cent projected for the capital in 2022-23, compared to 1.4 per cent for the rest of the state.
Growth was expected to slow slightly in 2032-33 to 1.3 per cent in Brisbane, compared to 1.2 per cent across the rest of Queensland.
As of 2021-22, most Queenslanders – 50.66 per cent – lived outside Brisbane, but the forecast growth rates were expected to result in 50.06 per cent of Queenslanders living in the capital by 2032-33.
Brisbane will be home to 3.082 million people, while 3.075 million were projected to live elsewhere in Queensland.
The data also shows how Queensland’s growth in the COVID-19 era bucked national trends.
Queensland grew by about 0.8 per cent in 2020-21, well above the national average of 0.1 per cent. During the same period, New South Wales recorded no population growth, while Victoria went backwards by about by 0.9 per cent.
Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers, whose Rankin electorate in Logan is nestled between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, talked up his home state’s appeal.
“There’s no doubt that we live in the best part of the best country in the world,” he said.
“Every year, more and more Australians are realising what they’re missing out on and moving to Queensland.
“During the pandemic we saw strong demand from people in Sydney and Melbourne looking to relocate, and that’s not likely to stop in years to come.
“Queensland has become the undisputed capital for Australians looking for a sea change.”
Chalmers said while the pandemic had a significant and enduring impact on the Australian community and economy, there were signs that population growth was “bouncing back”.
“A healthy, growing population is vital when it comes to creating a stronger and more prosperous economy,” he said.
“COVID-19 highlighted just how important the wellbeing of our workforce is to Australia’s economic prosperity.”
Migration was expected to provide the lion’s share of Queensland’s population increase. Overseas migration is expected to account for 32,000 new Queenslanders this financial year alone, while 30,600 were expected to move from interstate.
The natural increase in the state’s population – the number of births a year minus the number of deaths – is forecast to reach 27,800 in 2023-24 before falling to 22,500 by 2032-33.
Most of those births were expected in Brisbane, with an anticipated high-water mark of 17,400 in 2023-24, down to 15,500 in 2032-33.