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Friday, December 09, 2005

City leads population but surge takes a dive

The Mercury: City leads population but surge takes a dive [10dec05]

HOBART has led the state's population growth to 485,300. But Tasmania's boom has subsided.

The state's population grew by 0.6 per cent, or 3000, in the 12 months to the end of June.

Nationally, the growth was 1.2 per cent, to 20.3 million.

Most of Tasmania's population expansion was in greater Hobart which had 202,200 residents, an increase of 2256.

But over the three months to June, the growth rate slowed to just 0.1 per cent.

The annual growth rate had halved, from 1.2 per cent a year to 0.6 per cent, economist Saul Eslake noted at an economic forum in Hobart yesterday.

After talking about an easing in house prices, Mr Eslake said: "Tasmania's mini population surge has also subsided."

However, more people were still arriving in Tasmania than leaving.

But the difference between the numbers arriving and those leaving had narrowed -- from 58 people a week in 2003 to just five a week in the year to March.

Economic Development Minister Lara Giddings said population growth was a vote of confidence in Tasmania.

"The growth in population is due primarily to the fact more people are moving to Tasmania than are leaving and because the natural increase in our population (more births than deaths) has remained strong, about 11,000 over the past year," she said.

Nationally, Australia's population was estimated at more than 20.3 million at the end of June, up 1.2 per cent or 237,100 people.

The fertility rate reached the highest in a decade, with 1.839 babies per woman.

Natural increase -- births minus deaths -- grew 24 per cent in the June quarter.

There were 67,500 births nationally in the three months to June, up from 60,200 in the March quarter.

There were almost 258,000 babies born in the year around Australia.

Tasmania welcomed 1518 newborns in the three months to the end of June or 5989 over the year, a slight decrease.

Brisbane was the fastest-growing capital city, with a population of 1.8 million.


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