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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Australia: the world's fastest growing large rich country

In the decade between 2000 and 2010, Australia's population grew by 15.1%, more than any other large rich country. Spain was second with 14.4% growth and Canada was third with a 14.4% increase.

Population growth in IMF advanced economies with a population greater than 10 million, 2000-2010

Despite the country facing many of the same demographic challenges as other rich nations - namely an ageing population and a declining birth rate - it has managed to sustain strong population growth. This growth has been largely fueled by immigration; for example, in 2009, Australia had the highest rate of per-capita immigration in the OECD (the world's rich country club) in 2009.


Relative population growth 1980-2015,  top ten advanced economies

If smaller advanced economies are included in the analysis, only Singapore, Israel and Cyprus have outpaced Australia since 1980. When taking the IMF's 2015 population estimates, Singapore's growth rate is 123% during the period 1980-2015. Israel's rate is 119%, the growth rate for Cyprus rate is 78% and Australia comes in at 59%.

As the twelfth-emptiest country in the world, Australia certainly has the physical capacity to keep up its high rate of population growth. This is a key strength of the Australian economy as it can supplement its resource-led productivity gains with population-derived gains.

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