With Australia’s population at approximately 21 million and counting, it is an important challenge for the future of the nation. Over the years, there have been many factors that have affected the Australian population and in the future there will be plenty more. During the post-WWII period, a catchphrase used by politicians and industrialists was ‘populate or perish’, used along with the claim that Australia would not be able to defend itself if under attack. A larger population was argued to help boost the Australian economy. Trends that have affected Australia’s population include population growth, age structure and spacial distribution.
Population growth is an important trend that affects the population of Australia. Over the past 100 years, Australia’s population has boomed. Take, for example, the Australian population of 3.8 million in 1990. By the end of the 20th Century (1999), Australia’s population was 18.9 million. By 2003, the population had risen to 20 million. In the period after World War II, much of this population increase occurred. The influx of immigrants from war-torn Europe resulted in a booming birth rate and lifted the population from 7 million to 11.5 million over 20 years (1945-1965). Those born after the war were, and still are, known as the baby boomers. As these baby boomers now reach retirement age, Australia is described as an ageing population . Population growth can be classified under to terms; ‘natural increase’ and ‘net migration’. Natural increase refers to the increase associated with the birth of children. The increase is calculated by subtracting the total number of deaths from births. Net migration refers to the migration of people in and out of Australia. The increase is calculated by subtracting the total number of Australians leaving to permanently live overseas from the number of people arriving in Australia to stay.
Australia’s Bureau of Statistics (ABS) collects information regarding the population of...
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