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Australia’s population hits 25 million. Here’s how to profit

The ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) has a running total of Australia’s population. Last night for the first time, the clock has now ticked over 25 million people.

Our headcount is growing at a fairly rapid pace compared to other developed countries, currently around 1.6% per annum. Or around 1 person for every 1 minute and 23 seconds that passes!

With a larger population comes more consumers of course, so many companies are well placed to benefit from this ongoing dynamic. Here’s a couple of ideas…

Arena REIT (ASX: ARF)

This real estate trust develops and manages specialised properties built for healthcare, childcare and other niche tenancies, which are set to benefit from favourable demographics and long-term trends.

Obviously, a higher population means more early learning centres and healthcare facilities are required. And the household trend of both spouses working, doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

Arena owns a large portfolio of 200 properties and has a market cap of over $600m. Over the last 5 years, the total shareholder return has been 23.7% per annum, and Arena has also provided a growing income stream over that time.

I think this property trust will continue to benefit from these long term tailwinds and could represent a solid investment. The current distribution yield is 5.3%.

Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)

Toll-road king, Transurban, has been an outstanding business to own over the last decade or so. It continues to expand its road network and shower shareholders with cash.

Having just released its full year results, the outlook is positive. Transurban has guided for distribution growth of 5.4%, provided its bid for WestConnex is successful.

Over the last 12 months, average daily traffic increased by 2.2%, while toll revenue showed 8.7% growth. Transurban also has $10 billion committed to projects over the next 5 years, underpinning growth in revenue.

There’s no doubt strong population growth is a major win for a business like Transurban. Shares currently trade on a forecast yield of 4.9%.

Foolish takeaway

Both of these businesses are a good way to benefit from Australia’s growing population. I’d probably pick Transurban as the more attractive buy today because of its strong monopoly-like qualities. Another good year or two and it’ll likely find its way into the top 10 largest companies on the ASX. If you’re looking for companies a bit smaller, or more under-the-radar, check out the free report below.

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Motley Fool contributor Dave Gow owns shares of Transurban Group. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Transurban Group. 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.

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