Fact sheet

Fact Check: Is Australia's population the fastest growing in the developed world?

Population growth Australia
Businessman Dick Smith has population growth in his sights, arguing that immigration should be cut to slow Australia's ballooning population. In September 2018, he told ABC viewers: "At the present rate, we have [a] 1.6 per cent growth rate. That's the highest in the developed world." RMIT ABC Fact Check found Mr Smith is incorrect. The "developed world" is not a settled concept, but Australia's population growth does not top any of four credible lists of developed countries. Fact Check compared Australia's population growth with 95 countries that appeared on any of these lists, and with 31 countries that appeared on all four. The four lists were also considered individually. Rankings were calculated four ways for each list of countries, using annual and five-year average growth rates and population data from the United Nations and World Bank. The various results saw Australia's rank range from nineteenth of the 95 countries to third of the 31, behind Luxembourg and Israel.
Verdict: Incorrect
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