Media release: most Australians don’t want population growth

22 December 2015

Media Releases 2015

Sustainable Population Australia Inc.

Patrons: Hon. Bob Carr, Dr Paul Collins, Prof Tim Flannery, Em Prof Ian Lowe, Dr Mary E White

              Youth Ambassador: Ms Bindi Irwin


PO Box 3851

Weston Creek, ACT, 2611

Ph (02) 6288 6810

22 December 2015

Results of a significant survey showing that most Australians (a clear 51%) do not want population growth have been released today.

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) president, Sandra Kanck, says this new survey sheds light on an increasingly controversial topic.

‘We now have solid evidence that government and business are not listening to Australian voters on the subject of population growth,’ Ms Kanck said.

Commissioned by SPA and supervised by respected demographer Dr Katharine Betts of The Australian Population Research Institute, fieldwork was conducted between 6th and 12th November 2015 with 1230 respondents who were all Australian citizens.

While 38% of respondents supported continued growth, almost half of this group did not want that growth to go beyond 30 million.

Four questions were asked about the demographic knowledge of respondents.  Dr Betts says the answers show that such knowledge affects attitudes to growth. ‘The survey showed that people who are the most knowledgeable about demography are more likely to say that Australia does not need more people,’ Dr Betts said.

Ms Kanck says these answers showed that of those wanting population to increase more than half of them got none or just one of the answers correct. This contrasts with the respondents not wanting further growth who got two-thirds of the answers correct.

SPA is also heartened by the fact that 61% of 18-24 year olds said Australia did not need population growth.  We are also pleased to know that, for this age group, environment is the third most likely reason for not wanting growth, compared to it being the fifth in the survey as a whole.

– ENDS –

Copies of the survey results can be obtained by downloading the PDF attached to this Media Release. 

The survey is attached as an addendum to the Media Release.

About Sustainable Population Australia: SPA is an independent not-for-profit organisation formed in 1988 to promote an understanding of the effects of human population numbers on the biosphere and society.

PDF version of release


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