Source: Richie Southerton


ACT’s population

This section discusses changes in the ACT’s population. For information on population density and the impacts of population growth on the ACT’s land use, see Land.

Whilst population growth is a critical driver and indicator of environmental pressure and change, this report does not include a condition assessment of population change. However, it is important to include population data to understand changes in many of the indicators used for this report. For example, a growing population can impact on the environment and sustainability by increasing the demand for energy, transport, resources, and a range of goods and services.

In 2022, the ACT’s population was approximately 457,000 and is projected to grow to around 696,000 people by 2050, an increase of 239,000 people living in the ACT (Figure 1). The ACT has experienced strong and sustained population growth. In the ten-year period between 2013 and 2022, the population grew by over 70,000 people, an average annual increase of 7,000 or 1.8% per year.

Population growth will increase pressures on the ACT’s environment and will require effective sustainability and land use measures to minimise the impacts of such growth.

Figure 1: ACT estimated resident population 2013 to 2022 and projected population in 2050.

Data sourced from: Australian Bureau of Statistics and Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate.