A growing and diversifying population

Canberra has experienced strong and sustained growth, adding approximately 30,000 people since 2012, and is expected to continue to grow. This growth is driven by a combination of factors: natural increase, retention of people of a diversity of ages, and overseas and interstate immigration. New residents are attracted to Canberra for the education, jobs and lifestyle opportunities created by our strong economy and attractive natural and social assets.

Our population is the second youngest in Australia, but is also ageing. In 2016, 12% of our population was aged 65 or over, with that figure expected to continue to rise. The change in our demographic profile has significant implications for housing provision, community services and infrastructure.

Population growth in June 2017 was 412,000 and is projected to be 504,800 in 2030 and 589,000 in 2041. Growth in 2016-17 was 2.2% while the national average was 1.7%. The median age was 35 years old in 2017 and projected to increase to 39 by 2045. 23% of the ACT population speak English as a second language.

Map 1: ACT Population density in 2016 (residents per hectare of built footprint at suburb level). Click to view larger version.
Map of ACT population density in 2016 (residents per hectare of built footprint at suburb level) that measures people per a hectare with a range of 30 +, 25 to 30, 20 to 25, 15 to 20, 10 to 15, 5 to 10, 0 to 5 and 0.

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