In this time of uncertainty, it is important that each quarterly release of population data is taken in context with what was happening in the country (and the rest of the world) during that time. There is little point looking at annual figures and trying to predict what may or may not happen into the future, as contrary to popular belief, we are still living during a global pandemic. The only thing constant at the moment is change.
Today's release relates to population change in the September quarter of 2021 - July, August and September. This is the period that NSW and Victoria were in lock down and the Delta strain of COVID-19 was taking hold. It was the time that the Premier made the comment "Tasmania is going to experience population growth well above the Treasury forecasts because interstate migrants are knocking on the door and knocking loudly. "
In one way he was right - people from interstate were knocking loudly on our door and more people arrived in Tasmania from interstate during the September 2021 quarter than ever before. But he was wrong in claiming that Tasmania is going to experience population growth well above the Treasury forecasts because he failed to consider that more people may also be leaving Tasmania to live interstate than ever before. And this is what happened. Over 5200 people left Tasmania to live interstate during that quarter, the highest quarterly number of interstate departures on record, and nearly 1000 more than the previous highest number which was for the June 2021 quarter, also recorded during the pandemic. The fourth highest number of people leaving Tasmania was also during the pandemic in the December 2000 quarter.
Both interstate and overseas migration recorded net losses during the September 2021 quarter. This means that Tasmania's population only grew due to natural increase - more births than deaths - and that rate of growth is the lowest it has been this century.
I refer you back to my blog from December last year for explanation and commentary relating to the components of population change as it still applies.