The last measurement of Kangaroo Island's population was the 2021 Australian Census. The population of Kangaroo Island was recorded as 4,894. Its population density was an extremely low 1.07 residents per square kilometer. This low population density is due to most of Kangaroo Island being closed to development. Large portions of the island have been designated as nature reserves to preserve the gray kangaroo and other native species.
Kangaroo Island's largest settlement is Kingscote. Kingscote is also the seat of the local government. The town had a population of 1,917 residents in 2021.
The population of Kangaroo Island has increased steadily since the island was first settled. In the 20th century, the number of residents living on the island increased dramatically with the increase in tourism. This lead to an increase in jobs, which attracted many residents from the mainland.
In recent years, the rate of population growth on Kangaroo Island has slowed dramatically. The island's population was measured at 4,259 in 2006. However, it increased to 4,894 by 2021. This means it only increased by less than 15% in 15 years. The main reason that the island's growth rate is declining is that many young residents are moving to the mainland. Many of them move to Adelaide, the nearest major city, because there are more job opportunities there.
Australia as a whole is experiencing very slow population growth. In fact, the growth rate of South Australia, where Kangaroo Island is located, is only 0.9% per year. However, Kangaroo Island is actually growing faster than the state average. The population is growing by roughly 1.4% per year. As previously mentioned, the growth rate was even higher in the past. The Kangaroo Island population 2023 will likely surpass 5,000. However, there is a limit on how much it can grow. This is because much of the island is covered by nature reserves and residential development is not allowed.
Kangaroo Island was originally occupied by Aboriginal Australians. However, this population disappeared roughly 2,000 years ago. The island was sparsely inhabited until the mid-19th century. At this time, it was settled by Australians from the mainland. This means that the majority of Kangaroo Island's residents are of European descent.