The Australian population has just hit 25 million people, beating population growth predictions made a long time ago.
Rising populations aren’t that much of a surprise considering people are living longer and Australia has a high net annual migration figure for its size.
Our population is growing faster than most other western countries like Canada, the United States and New Zealand.
There are many positives and negatives with this. Many US and UK politicians have campaigned saying that the immigration rate is too high. They said it puts too much pressure on infrastructure, essential services and people’s wages.
This is particularly problematic for Australia’s cities where more and more people are choosing to live. Roads are becoming more congested. Public transport is full at peak hour. Hospital wait times are growing. That may also be blamed on various governments not investing what was necessary.
However, for certain stakeholders there are big gains. A bigger population (and annual inflation) helps most ASX businesses. There’s another customer for a Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) supermarket, another user for Telstra Corporation Ltd’s (ASX: TLS) 4G network, another patient for CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) and perhaps another long-term retiree for Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF).
Over the long-term share markets will benefit if they simply maintain their market share and can increase prices at inflation – this alone will deliver decent returns over the decades.
But, when you can find businesses that have a number of growth initiatives to profit from growing populations and a changing world then you’ll do very well. Shares like Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC), Citadel Group Ltd (ASX: CGL) and National Veterinary Care Ltd (ASX: NVL) are excellent ways to profit from growing populations and urbanisation.
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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of Challenger Limited, COSTA GRP FPO, and NATVETCARE FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Challenger Limited, COSTA GRP FPO, and Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Citadel Group Ltd and NATVETCARE FPO. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.