The paper “ The Growth of Australian Population” is an affecting example of statistics project on sociology. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010) argues that Australian population growth is currently growing at a rate of 450000 persons per year. It is one of the fastest-growing developed countries in terms of population at a growth rate of 2.1 percent per year. According to commonwealth Treasury projects, the Australian population is expected to grow to 36million by the year 2050 from the current 22million. This figure has led to the emergence of the term ‘ big Australia’ .
Temporary visa holders for education and employment purposes dominate a large part of this population increase. During the past few years, there has been a remarkable increase in the Australian population that exceeds 450,000 on an annual basis as in September 2009. The overseas migration has tripled in recent years from 100,000 in the 1990s to 300,000 in the last count of September 2009. Until last year, Australia was taking about 244,000 immigrants per year. The fertility rates have increased with the natural population rate of growth of over 150,000 per year.
However, according to government reports, the population growth is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 1.2 percent over the next forty years slightly lower compared to 1.4 growth rate in the past 40 years. The population continues to grow at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in 2008-09 to a decrease of 0.9 percent in 2050. There are main factors that should be taken into consideration when determining the population growth rate by the Australian government. This includes fertility rates and mortality rates as the natural determinants.
Net overseas migration mainly encompassed permanent migration (family and skilled) and temporary migration (students and temporary skilled), as well as longevity, are the other determinants. Factors that might be considered as a result of the rapid increase of the population are competing policies, inadequate health facilities, increasing competition on amenities, education, religion, and cultural conflicts among others. According to Andrew, James & Peter, (2010), approximately 90% of immigrants in Australia today are younger than 40 years. This compares to 55% of native Australians. However, the number of Australians aged between 65 and 84 years will be expected to double by 2050 with those over 85 years being more than quadruple.
The number of those who are working to support every retiree is expected to fall from 5 people to 2.7 by 2050. This number was 7.5 in 1970. The government aims to boost productivity growth to 2 percent in the next 40 years. The latest productivity has gone down to approximately 1.4 percent from 2000 down from 2.1 percent in the 1990s. Even though the rate of fertility has increased slightly, there has a mini-baby-boom.
However, the recent increase in fertility rate as compared to previous years is expected to increase the population levels by 2050. The increasing fertility rate is a crucial determinant of the increasing population within the next 40 years in Australia. However, the number of old population is projected to be elevated with 22 percent of the population living 65 years and above in 2050. The current fertility rate is 2.0 births per woman. Even though the rate of fertility had decreased in the past 40 years from 2.9 to 1.7, it has recovered to 2.0 currently.
In 1961, fertility was 3.5 births per woman. However, in the 1960s and 1970s, the total fertility rate decreased during the 1960s and 1970s then stabilized in the 1980s then declining further up to 2001. From that time, fertility has been increasing to 2 births per woman in 2008 as stated earlier. The number of children is anticipated to increase by 45 percent with working-age also expected to increase by 44 percent between 2010and 2050. This is also expected for the older generation of over 65 years.
Andrew, M., James, J. & Peter, M. (2010). Australia’s Immigration Revolution. New York: Allen & Unwin.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2010). Yearbook, Australia, issue 87. Melbourne: Aust. Bureau of Statistics.
John, H., Nieuwenhuysen, J. & Stine, N. (2009. Nations of Immigrants: Australia and the USA Compared. California: Edward Elgar Publishing,