Australia's population increased steadily by one to two per cent a year during the past 10 years and natural increase - the excess of births over deaths - has contributed more to the population growth than net overseas migration (NOM), that is, permanent and long-term temporary arrivals less permanent and long-term temporary departures .

The Australian preliminary estimated resident population was 19.6 million at 31 December 2001, an increase of 242,900 people (or 1.02 per cent) since 31 December 2000.

This graph shows the contributions of natural increase and net overseas migration to Australia's population growth during the past 10 years.

Note: The NOM data for 2000-01 does not include net permanent and long-term movement and category jumping as this data is not yet available.

At 30 June 2000, 23.6 per cent of the estimated resident population were born overseas: 6.1 per cent of the population were born in the UK, 12.5 per cent were born in Europe and the former USSR, 5.6 per cent were born in Asia, 2.5 per cent were born in Oceania, 1.2 per cent were born in the Middle East and North Africa, and less than 2 per cent in other regions.