It plays host to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April and the Australian state of Queensland is set to see it population continue to soar.
Queensland is popular not just with people moving from other parts of Australia, but also with people moving from abroad.
The latest official figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that its population reached 4.9 million at the end of September 2017, growing at a rate of 1.7% and is projected to reach the five million milestone in May.
Overall, Australia’s population grew by 395,600 to reach 24.7 million by the end of September 2017. Victoria continued to close the population gap on New South Wales and was the fastest growing state or territory with a population increase of 2.4%, followed by the Australian Capital Territory at 1.8%.
According to ABS demography director Anthony Grubb there are two main drivers behind Queensland’s population growth. ‘Natural increase and net overseas migration each added an additional 31,000 people to the state’s population in the year preceding September 2017,’ he said.
‘The third component, net interstate migration, contributed 19,000 over the same period, including a net flow of 12,000 from New South Wales,’ he explained, adding that Queensland’s population had come a long way since the start of the last century.
In 1901, the state’s population was half a million, a tenth of what it is today. It took 37 years to hit the one million milestone in 1938 and another 36 years to reach two million in 1974. After that, population growth picked up its pace, taking only 18 years to get to three million in 1992, and just 14 years to reach four million in 2006.
Nationally, net overseas migration added 250,100 people to the population and accounted for 63% of Australia’s total population growth. Natural increase contributed 145,500 additional people to Australia’s population, made up of 306,500 births and 161,000 deaths.
The lowest rates of population growth were in the Northern Territory, which remained flat, South Australia at 0.6% and Tasmania at 0.7%.
Student visa applications were the key driver in migration growth, up more than 14% in the six months to the end of 2017, with applications from China, India, Brazil and Nepal all rising strongly.
According to Robert Honeycombe, chairman of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, people are moving to Queensland from New South Wales. They can sell their homes in Sydney and buy waterfront properties in Queensland with money left over.
Indeed, the ABS figures show that 12,000 of Queensland’s 19,000 net internal migrants were from New South Wales. ‘We have known for some time that many southerners are also moving to regional Queensland, seeking a peaceful lifestyle change,’ Honeycombe said.
‘Downsizers and pre-retirees are selling their Sydney property to move to regional coastal towns, such as Bundaberg and the Fraser Coast, to buy waterfront property and a great lifestyle. Queensland real estate offers great value and this is why it underpins the state’s economy. When real estate performs well, everyone benefits,’ he added.