South East Queensland set to be a population growth hotspot

South East Queensland set to be a population growth hotspot

By Jarrod McAleese • Jan 2023

On the back of recent population growth exceeding government forecasts, South East Queensland is slated to add 1.16 million new residents by 2041, according to analysis from independent population forecasters, .id (informed decisions).

This would see the total population in South East Queensland rise to 5.3 million people – and 6.5 million for the state as a whole.

And while this is a more conservative long-term outlook than initially anticipated prior to the pandemic, the projection reflects Queensland having established itself as the nation’s hottest property market in recent years, usurping traditional powerhouses of growth New South Wales and Victoria.

The research considers factors such as birth (fertility) rates; life expectancy; levels of overseas, inter-state and intra-state migration; and economic drivers such as the relative employment growth prospects of locally prominent industries.

At a regional level, the distribution of the population is heavily influenced by the availability of housing and employment, location, timing, capacity and sequence of residential development sites are studied.

The factors driving growth

Population growth in South East Queensland has been steady rather than spectacular, serviced by a consistent stream of housing development that’s seen the green wedges between Brisbane and the coasts narrow, and the outer reaches of Greater Brisbane stretch to the North, South and West.

Prior to the pandemic, the nation’s established migration pattern included an ongoing influx of international migrants into Melbourne and Sydney, with a relatively large intra-state flow from Victoria and New South Wales into Queensland.

This meant the slowing of overseas migration did not affect Queensland as heavily as others, with Queensland instead continuing to benefit from a spike in inter-state arrivals post COVID-19.

And with the 2032 Olympics and strong economic conditions, related to a burgeoning renewable energy industry and defence spending, as well as State government planning and development goals that are supported by sufficient land identified for that development to occur, there is a strong platform for prosperity laid out in the Sunshine State.

The population forecast

But how will this growth take shape? And where will it occur?

In the last few years, large Greenfield developments such as the Aura Estate on the Sunshine Coast and Springfield in the Ipswich region have made a significant contribution to growth in South East Queensland.

And looking ahead, Ipswich, the Gold Coast and Logan-Beaudesert are scheduled to add more than 620,000 people between them in the 20 years to 2041, with significant growth also forecast in the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions to the north of Brisbane.

This is in line with Federal Budget population forecasts (October 2022) and updated in the annual National Population Statement (December 2022), in which Queensland is expected to add 1 million new residents over the decade to 2032-33.

For more information on Queensland’s population trends, you can download the full e-book, ‘Competing for growth: Where will the next million South East Queenslanders live?’ here.

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