The West

226 more people a day
Gwen Buckland and daughter LucyPritchett are at the forefront of the boom. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian.

WA is the destination of choice, with the State's population swelling by 226 people a day in the past year.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal that an all-time high of 83,000 people opted to call WA home last year, taking the State's population to almost 2.5 million.

The big increase was driven by a string of population records last year.

There were a record 33,646 babies born and 85,000 overseas migrants moved to WA.

And an all-time high of 32,000 people left the State, leaving WA with a record net migration intake of 52,000. This delivered WA a population growth rate of 3.5 per cent - almost double the 1.8 per cent rate of the nation.

The mining boom not only attracted overseas migrants. Net interstate migration hit a high of 10,400, largely made of people from NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Nationally, a high of 305,000 babies were born last year.

Victoria (which added 99,500 residents) and Queensland (92,500) added more people than NSW, which remains the most populated part of the country with 7.3 million inhabitants.

Dianella mother-of-two Gwen Buckland helped WA's population growth by having her second child Lucy last year.

She said despite tough economic conditions, her family were lucky because her husband worked in the resources industry.

"But there needs to be more support for new mothers in the community," Mrs Buckland said.

Commonwealth Bank economist Gareth Aird said the strong increase in Australia's population - now at 22.9 million - would underpin the housing market and the economy.

The growth of WA and Queens- land also showed the change in economic power across the nation.

The West Australian

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