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New research examines Australian population growth patterns


James, A., Rowley, S., Davies, A., Ong ViforJ, R. and Singh, R.


The research findings re-confirm that tenure insecurity in the private rental sector is a pressing policy issue that needs to be addressed, and that stamp duties act as a barrier to home purchase and labour market mobility (which would improve the efficient functioning of Australia’s economy).

Most of Australia’s recent population growth has been centred in the largest cities.
The report analysed Australian Bureau of Statistics data which found that between 2017 and 2018, capital city growth accounted for 79 per cent of Australia’s total population growth, increasing by 2 per cent while the national average growth rate was 1.6 per cent. Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, had the largest rates of growth at 2.5 per cent.

Much of the growth that occurred outside of capital cities was in cities that are within commuting distance to a capital city.

The research also examined the drivers of population mobility, finding housing and location considerations to be the major reasons for the 40 per cent of Australians who change where they reside every five years.

Nearly 40 per cent of moves from one urban area to another are driven by the desire to get one’s own place or move into a larger place, while only 8 per cent of urban–urban moves are due to downsizing into a smaller dwelling.

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