The Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning is changing to the Department of State Development and Infrastructure. Work is underway to update this website. Read more about the new Ministerial portfolios.

Skip to content

The population of Queensland is growing – here’s why that’s a good thing

The population of Queensland is growing – here’s why that’s a good thing

Population growth often gets a bad rap, but here in Queensland we’re seizing the opportunities that growth brings to make a better Queensland for all.

Queensland’s population is set to boom in the coming decades, growing from the current 5.4 million to between 6.4 and 8.27 million by 2046.

It’s no wonder people want to live here; we have great weather, amazing natural environments, world-class cities and vibrant regional hubs. Queensland is also the place to be for jobs in the new industries that are leading the charge in decarbonisation.

We know that a growing population is an opportunity to invest in public infrastructure and innovation. In Queensland, we’re putting plans in place to make the most of growth for the benefit of all Queenslanders.

Who are all these new Queenslanders and where are they coming from?

Population growth numbers are broken down into three groups: natural increase, international migration and interstate migration.

A large chunk of the people making our population grow aren’t moving here at all. Natural population increase happens when more people in a population are born than die over a period of time.

With our increasing medical knowledge, great health system and generally healthy lifestyles, older generations of Queenslanders are living longer than ever before, while new generations are being added at the same time. Over the next ten years, we’re expecting a natural population increase of about 261,000. This means that while our population is growing, it’s also changing, and we’ll need new jobs, services and infrastructure to serve different demographics.

International migration accounts for people who arrive from overseas to call Queensland home. After taking a dip when borders closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Queensland’s international migration levels are set to average 27,000 people per year over the next decade.

Interstate migration counts people who have arrived from other states. We saw an influx of interstate migration during the pandemic, as people from the southern states chose to call Queensland home, and will see a steady flow of interstate migration over the next decade.

Over the next decade, population growth in Queensland will comprise 30% from natural growth, with 30% growth from internal arrivals and 40% from international migration. Interested in digging into the data? The Centre for Population forecasts expected population growth across Australian states and territories, including a capital city and regional breakdown.

What are the benefits of population growth?

When handled well, a growing population can be the spark that makes a state go from a good place to live to a great one. Queenslanders already love the heart and character of our great communities and our incredible lifestyle, so we’re making sure our state grows in the right way, to enhance our communities and support our lifestyle.

This looks like using growth as a reason to create:

We have state planning, infrastructure and investment frameworks    in place that aim to make sure growth enhances our communities and regions, improving the way Queenslanders live, work and play.

Where will all the new Queenslanders live?

With significant population growth comes the need for more homes at affordable rates. Knowing that our population is set to continue growing provides us with the opportunity to think about the idea of ‘home’ in Queensland in a different way than we have before.

We’re paving the way for current and future Queenslanders to have access to a wider range of housing than before, looking at where development can happen in existing residential areas to create a more diverse offering or where land can be opened up for new homes. Find out more about how we’re planning for a range of housing across the state, addressing the question of building in or out, and what our Housing Supply Expert Panel think are the greatest opportunities for housing in Queensland in the coming years.

Can population growth be good for the environment?

We’ve set ambitious renewable energy targets for the coming decade, and you might be wondering how we’re planning to meet them with all these extra people on board.

Our growing population is one of the key drivers in our plan to decarbonise Queensland’s industries and economy. It’s going to take a massive effort to build and operate all the renewable energy infrastructure we need for a green Queensland, and that includes thousands of jobs for Queenslanders.

A thriving economy is necessary to see through these kinds of gutsy projects, and a thriving population is the key to that.

More information about Queensland’s growing population

Want to keep track of Queensland’s population growth and how we’re planning for it? You can read all of our blogs tackling planning, find information about housing supply and planning across the state, peruse our regional plans to see what’s on the cards for your area or check out our ongoing infrastructure plans.

Last updated: 09 Nov 2023