“If the population growth continues to decline it risks adverse impacts on intergenerational equity,” stated Tim Reardon, HIA’s Chief Economist.
ABS data released shows that Australia’s annualised population growth rate fell from 1.55 per cent in the March (2019) quarter to 1.53 per cent during the June 2019 quarter.
“The decline in the overall rate of population growth was due to a decline in net overseas migration, added Mr Reardon.
“Population growth slowed in all states, with the exception of Western Australia and South Australia.
“A sharp contraction in population growth in NSW over the past two years means there are fewer people in the economy spending. This is a factor that has contributed to the contraction in retail expenditure and softer economic growth.
“Population growth in Victoria and Queensland slowed, but remain at strong levels.
“Given our aging population, there is a significant risk that a sustained drop in the rate of overseas migration will see Australia’s age dependency ratio continue to climb. This would put pressure on the ability of government to provide health and social services for future generations.
“The tightening of visa requirements for skilled migrants, which were introduced in 2017, risk worsening the intergenerational impacts of our ageing workforce.
“Strong and stable population growth, through attracting skilled workers, is an important factor for ensuring that Australia can sustain ongoing economic growth, improving productivity and workforce capacity,” concluded Mr Reardon.