Immigration contributes to the growth of the Australian population
The population of Australia increased with 1,6% or 359 000 people during the last year. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 58% of this rise was caused by immigration. During the last year the population grew with only 1.14%, but this coincided with a period when the inbound migration was lower than usual. The reason for this was the restrictive regulations that had been introduced by the Australian Government as a response to the economic and financial crisis that started in 2009.
Now when the Australian economy experiences a resource boom and the immigration policy is more liberal than before, Australian experiences higher population growth than many other developed countries. Canada for example registered a 1% growth in population over the same period. The US population rose by 0.9%, the UK’s by 0.6% and France’s by 0.5%.
In Australia the net migration increased the population by 208 000 people. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports some 472,000 arrivals and 264,000 departures. Net immigration includes temporary immigrants such as 457 visa holders and Working Holiday Visa workers provided that they stay in the country for more than 12 months. The natural growth rate caused by higher number of births than deaths caused a rise of about 151 500. There were 298,000 births and 145,500 deaths.
The state that mostly contributed to the increase was Western Australia whose population grew by 3.3 percent (around 78 000 people). There were also significant rises in population in Victoria (89,000), Queensland (86,000) and New South Wales (79,000).
Gareth Aird, an economist at the Commonwealth Bank, explained that the immigration growth is a good indication of the strength of the Australian dollar and the country’s labour market. According to him the strong dollar increases the appeal that Australia has for foreign workers because it increases the real value of their wages outside the country
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