Australian Immigration Fuels Population Growth


The all-time high levels of immigration experienced in Australia over the past few years is likely to contribute to the country's population reaching the 22 million mark by the end of this year according to recent data from McCrindle Research.

This is 40 years faster than had been expected just 11 years ago when demographers predicted that Australia's population would have reached between 23.5 million and 26.4 million by 2051.

The McGrindle data revealed that an all-time high of 253,415 immigrants - including refugees, New Zealand citizens and those already onshore - became permanent residents of Australia in 2008. This, combined with the country's highest ever number of births in a year (296,610) and the lowest ever death rate (6.03 per 1,000 people), contributed to a record population increase of 406,083.

A similar increase in 2009, which is widely anticipated, would see the population reach 22 million by Christmas and would mean that Australia has grown by one million people in just over two years.

Mark McCrindle, the social demographer responsible for the latest research said:

"Traditionally the strongest contributor of Australia's population growth has been natural increase rather than net migration,"

"However for the last five years the national population has been boosted more by migration than natural increase. This remained the case this year, with natural causes contributing to one-third of the country's net growth and migration two-thirds.”

Even the government's decision to reduce the 2009/10 skilled migration programme is unlikely to have an impact on Australia's rapidly increasing population, as the overall offshore migration programme's intake target of 168,700 still represents the second-largest programme since the days of the Ten Pound Poms.

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