The Myth of Overpopulation in Australia

As one of the very few rich countries that still has a young and growing population, Australia should embrace this opportunity and continue to grow. Other countries may well abolish themselves but Australia should not. Read more.

So far, Australia has its population debate the wrong way around. It is not population growth that will be the developed world’s biggest worry over the coming decades, but population decline.

Oliver Marc Hartwich
Business Spectator

Australia’s total fertility rate (TFR), the average number of children a woman would bear over her lifetime, fell sharply from 3.6 children per woman in 1961 to 1.9 in 1979 and continued to fall steadily for the next 20 years. In 2002-03 it reached a low of 1.72 children per woman. Since then, it has increased, and in 2008 Australia’s TFR was 1.978 babies per woman, the highest level since 1977 when the TFR was 2.007.
Even though the total fertility rate has recently risen to 1.978 births per woman, it remains below replacement levels of 2.1 births per woman.
Few developed countries have a fertility rate as high as Australia, the USA being the most notable exception with a TFR around the replacement rate of 2.1, and New Zealand with a replacement rate of 2. Read more.


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