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Visa workers push WA’s population past 2.5 million

Leanne Nicholson on WAtoday.com.au

The magnetic lure of the Aussie way of life continues to feed Western Australia’s healthy population increase with almost two-thirds of the state’s total growth coming from migration.

According to figures recently released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 63 per cent of WA’s total growth in the year to March 31 this year was made up of people born outside of Australia.

“WA’s population nudged 2.5 million people at the end of March 2013 and grew at an annual rate of 3.4 per cent – or 82,600 people,” said Bjorn Jarvis from the ABS.

In contrast, the lowest growth rate was in Tasmania, where the population increased by just 0.1 per cent – or 600 people – to reach 512,900 people.

“Net overseas migration added 238,300 people to Australia’s population in the year to March 2013,” Mr Jarvis said.

“This is around the five-yearly average.

“We’re now seeing migration climbing steadily to rates last seen in 2009, though it’s still well below the record high of 316,000 in 2008,” he said.

Australia’s population reached 23 million at the end of March 2013, and grew by an annual rate of 1.8 per cent (or 397,400 people).

Net overseas migration accounted for 60 per cent of Australia’s growth, with the remaining 40 per cent due to natural increase.

Victoria had the highest increase in natural increase for the year ending March 31, 2013, increasing by 7.8 per cent, or 3000 people, compared with the previous year.

Nationally, the number of births increased by 1.2 per cent over the past year, while the number of deaths increased by 1.7 per cent.

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