This morning I gave the opening keynote at an internal leadership conference of a major Australian retailer, addressing the topic of Embracing the Future.
One of the key issues for the long-term planning of any large organization is the basic demography of the country. While I spent much of my presentation looking at social change, I started by looking at the state of population forecasts for Australia.
A few months ago Australia’s Treasury department foreshadowed the release of the third Intergenerational Report, which examines the impact of population change and aging. The second report, released in 2007, forecast an Australian population of 28.5 million in 2050, however two scant years later the forecast has been revised to 35 million. This would make Australia the fastest-growing developed country in the world.
Let’s look at some of the figures and uncertainties behind these forecasts. While we often hear that “Demographics is Destiny”, in fact demographic forecasts are fraught with uncertainty.
This first image shows the earlier three population scenarios for this century from the government.
THREE POPULATION SCENARIOS FOR AUSTRALIA