Source: Brisbane Times
Brisbane is booming as babies are born and southerners began to flee lockdowns for the Sunshine State's (usually) COVID-free lifestyle.
Brisbane's population grew by 1.9 per cent during 2019-20, recording the highest growth rate of all capital cities, according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
ABS demography director Phil Browning said Brisbane was closely followed by Perth, with a population growth rate of 1.8 per cent.
Third was Melbourne with growth of 1.6 per cent.
Greater Brisbane increased its residents by more than 46,900 people, taking its population to 2.56 million in June 2020.
That was made up of 16,169 people who moved to Brisbane from overseas and 13,779 people who moved from other parts of the country.
But the biggest factor in Brisbane's boom was "natural increase" – or births minus deaths – which sat at 16,966 people.
The areas with the highest density in the state were all inner-Brisbane suburbs – Kangaroo Point, Fortitude Valley and West End.
The rest of Queensland increased by 35,400 people, growing 1.4 per cent, with many people looking for a beach or tree change.
The Queensland areas with the largest growth were Pimpama on the Gold Coast (up 2700 people), Caloundra West on the Sunshine Coast (up 2200) and Springfield Lakes (up 2000).
The area with the highest growth rate was the booming Ipswich suburb of Ripley (up 20 per cent), followed by Pallara – Willawong in Brisbane's south (16 per cent) and Pimpama (14 per cent).
Jimboomba, south of Brisbane, had the largest natural increase with 510 people.
Population changes in Australia are now more reliant on interstate migration and the birth rate, due to international borders being closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the ABS data, released on Tuesday, only picks up the first five months of the coronavirus pandemic.
Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast had the largest net overseas migration gain, with 860 people.
In January, demographer Mark McCrindle called for the return of the baby bonus to motivate potential parents, as data revealed there were 4486 fewer babies born in Queensland in 2020 compared with a decade ago.
Treasurer Cameron Dick said the ABS data showed that even before the pandemic began, Australians knew Queensland was the place to be.
"With the closure of international borders, interstate migration has become the biggest driver of population growth," he said.
Mr Dick said the federal budget forecast that over the next four years, more than 86,000 Australians would move to Queensland, effectively creating a new city almost the size of Bundaberg.
"Australians are voting with their feet and choosing to live in Queensland, whether it is in the south-east or throughout the regions," he said.
Mr Dick said population growth drove economic growth but also presented challenges.
"That's why this year we have opened new schools in what the ABS identifies as the state's two areas of highest growth: Pimpama (Gainsborough State School) and Caloundra West (Baringa State Secondary College)."
In 2018, Brisbane's rate of growth was slowing and more people were leaving the city to head over the border.
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