Shepparton News

COVID halts Australia’s growth

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CANBERRA: Australia’s population barely grew in the year to March due to the impact of internatio­nal border closures on overseas migration.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said Australia’s population grew by just 0.1 per cent, or 35,700 people, to 25.7 million, in contrast to the 1.5 per cent growth recorded in the 2019 calendar year.

‘‘This is the first full year of data ref lecting the impacts of COVID-19 on Australia’s population,’’ ABS demography director Beidar Cho said.

Net overseas migration was down by 334,000 people compared with the previous year.

There were 293,500 births and 162,500 deaths in Australia during this period.

The resulting natural increase was down four per cent from the previous year.

It continues the trend of a gradual decline in population over the past five years, driven mainly by decreasing births.

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