THE University of Tasmania's resident demographer says a Liberal Party plan to grow the state's population to 650,000 by 2050 is a plausible prospect.
However, the state opposition has backed away from its 2010 initiative to pay people cash to move here.
In his State of the State address in parliament this week, Opposition Leader Will Hodgman announced his Big Tasmania plan to fix the ``demographic time bomb'' and attract more skilled younger people to the state, with the eventual aim of growing the population by 138,000 over the next 38 years.
The 0.65 per annum growth target is based on the medium projections of both the Demographic Advisory Council and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with Mr Hodgman's strategy focusing on the creation of more jobs, more investment opportunities and stabilising the state's industries.
In March 2010 Mr Hodgman announced a similar plan to lure people to Tasmania with a cash incentive - paying individuals $2500 and couples $5000 to relocate.
But he stepped back from that plan this week, saying there was ``no silver bullet for population growth''.
University of Tasmania demographer and PhD candidate Lisa Taylor said it would be difficult to achieve and maintain a 0.65 per cent growth rate through to 2050, especially considering Tasmania had the slowest current rate of population growth in the nation at 0.16 per cent.
But she said that it was possible.
``That target is less than what we've averaged over the past 30 years [0.87 per cent],'' Ms Taylor said.
``Even over the last 10 years, our population grew at 0.8 per cent per annum.
``It's tough ask to maintain that, given the unprecedented growth in Tasmania during the 2000s.
``But if it was maintained, it is plausible that the target will be reached.''
However, Ms Taylor said the biggest problems to achieving Hodgman's population goal had already started.
``We've surpassed our peak growth periods, we have the slowest population growth rate in the nation, our unemployment is high and we are in a poor economic state,'' she said.
``We have a net interstate migration loss in both prime working ages, and prime reproductive ages [people aged 19 to 34].''
Premier Lara Giddings criticised Mr Hodgman's Big Tasmania plan, accusing him of ``plucking a population target from the air'' and saying that he had no plans to meet it.