Australia sees population decline since World War I

Australia’s population has declined for the first time. In fact, such a drop has been recorded after more than a century.

Experts believe that the key reason for this is pandemic-induced border closures that have stemmed the flow of overseas migrants.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the population grew by less than one percent in the year to September 2020.

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It has actually declined in the last recorded quarter.

ABS’ demography director, Phil Browning said:

“The last time we saw population decline was the year to December 1916, during World War I.”

Australia’s population is 25.7 million people and COVID measures including snap lockdowns have limited the number of arrivals.

“Decreases to overseas migration have been observed over the last two quarters. For this most recent quarter, the decrease was not outweighed by natural increase causing a small decline in population.”

Net overseas migration stood at 85,100 in year to September 2020.