A Canberra baby boom has the ACT population surging
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A Canberra baby boom has the ACT population surging

A baby boom and a surge in migrants helped Canberra add 8761 people last year, giving it its fastest population growth rate in years and one of the highest in the nation.

New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures found the ACT's population grew by 2.15 per cent in 2017. It takes the ACT's population to 415,900.

CommSec senior economist Craig James said it was the strongest growth rate for the capital since 2012.

"Canberra is cool. Long derided by other Aussies, population growth is the strongest in five years in the national capital. And its babies, not overseas or interstate migrants are driving population growth. According to the ACT government, natural increase will account for 62 per cent of the territory’s population growth by 2020," he said in a statement.

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"Clearly Canberra is great for families, and its superior pay packets is attractive for young professionals. According to the bureau of statistics, Aussie public sector wages increased by 2.3 per cent over the year to March. And during the quarter to May, public administration and safety jobs growth was the strongest across all occupations."

ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said in a statement net overseas migration was the main contributor in the ACT's growth at 48 per cent. Natural increase and net interstate migration contributed 44 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.

"Both net overseas migration and natural increase were at the highest levels ever experienced in a calendar year by the ACT," Mr Grubb said.

There was a 19.7 per cent increase in Canberra births, but this was somewhat offset by a nation's biggest percentage increase in deaths, too, at 25.4 per cent.

"Victoria continues to lead the nation in population growth with an annual increase of 2.3 per cent, followed by the ACT at 2.2 per cent and Queensland at 1.7 per cent. The Northern Territory recorded the lowest growth at 0.2 per cent," Mr Grubb said.

Overall, Australia's population grew by 388,000 people in 2017 to reach 24.8 million. The bureau is now projecting Australia will reach a population of 25 million in early August.

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