Latest economic data show australians’ standard of living falling

16 September 2011

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Media Release


Latest economic data show Australians’ standard of living falling


3 September 2009


“The latest economic growth figures clearly show that ‘standard of living’ is falling, not rising as implied by almost every journalist and commentator”, said Dr John Coulter, Vice president of Sustainable Population Australia.


“Economic growth is almost universally used as a surrogate measure of ‘standard of living’. But it is per capita economic growth which relates to the average citizen’s ‘standard of living’. With 0.6% total economic growth in the most recent quarter but a population growth rate of 1.9%, it follows that the per capita ‘standard of living’ fell by 1.3%.


“State by state analysis shows that in every state except Victoria per capita GDP growth was negative. South Australia’s change was zero.


“Quarter by quarter GDP figures jump around a lot. But if the same calculations are done over longer time periods they reveal that there is no statistically significant correlation between population growth and per capita economic growth. The same conclusion can be drawn from a comparison across all OECD countries. This makes a mockery of the oft used, but misleading claim, that Australia must grow its population in order to grow its economy, i.e., benefit the Australian people by raising ‘standard of living’.


“In the light of Lindsay Tanner’s admission in yesterday’s Age that ‘economic and population growth drive (greenhouse) emissions higher every year’, these figures should lead to a fundamental reconsideration of the pursuit of both economic and population growth by every government in Australia” concluded Dr Coulter.


For further information or comment:


Dr John Coulter 08/8388 2153









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