Wednesday 26 Sep 2018 | 08:48 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 26 Sep 2018 | 08:48 | SYDNEY

The real population numbers


Fergus Hanson


22 July 2010 14:14

Peter Hartcher today asks Prime Minister Julia Gillard to explain her population pitch for Australia with the headline: 'No numbers, no substance, no solutions'. While the Australian reports concerns about any shift away from a big Australia.

The Lowy Institute conducted polling on this issue back in March and the numbers suggest why it has been so difficult to get down to specifics.

While a majority of Australians (69%) wanted Australia's population to be smaller than the 36 million projected in the government's Intergenerational Report, at the same time 72% wanted it to bigger than the current size.

Breaking those numbers down, 43% said 'the best target population for Australia' was '30 million people', 23% said it was '40 million people' and 6% said it was '50 million people or more'. Just over one fifth (22%) said it should be 'around the current size of 22 million people' and only 4% said it should be 'less than the current size of 22 million people'. 

For a politician hoping to please everyone, it seems there is no number everyone can agree on.  

Photo by Flickr user alexkess, used under a Creative Commons license.