Keep the population low for greater wealth (FEB)

18 February 2002

Media Releases 2002

Were greater wealth for Australians the real objective of the organisers of the forthcoming Population Summit in Melbourne, they would advocate an end to population growth immediately, according to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

National President of SPA, Dr Harry Cohen, said today that anyone looking at the world rankings in terms of GDP per capita, could see that most wealthy nations have stable and low populations while those with rapid growth rates are the poorest.

“Premier Bracks, Tony Berg and Jeff Kennett are calling for an increase in the population growth rate yet Australia’s current rate of 1.2 is already above that of the 15 wealthiest nations,” Dr Cohen says.

The wealthiest nations (GDP per capita), most of which are European, have population growth rates ranging from minus 0.1 to one per cent. Apart from the United States, Canada, Japan and France, all of the top 15 nations have populations lower than that of Australia. The wealthiest country, Luxembourg, has only 442,000 people.

“If Mr Bracks and his friends would look at the 15 poorest nations, their growth rates range from 2.1 in Rwanda to 5.5 in Liberia. The poorest country in the world, Sierra Leone, has a growth rate of 4.5 per cent. It is patently obvious that there is a high correlation between rapid population growth and poverty,” says Dr Cohen.

Dr Cohen says that the organisers of the Population Summit are confusing total GDP (that rises in line with population growth) and GDP per capita, the factor that mattered.

“What is more, there is a differential between different groups of people as total GDP rises. Blue collar workers tend not to benefit while property investors do. What with increased pollution and congestion that follows most population growth, however, everyone loses when it comes to quality of life,” he says.

Further information:

Dr Harry Cohen, Ph (w): 08 9381 9729 Ph (h): 08 9386 5268

Jenny Goldie (SPA National Director) Ph: 02 6235 5488 E:


Peak Bodies
Scroll to Top