It’s official: Immigration is collapsing

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday released its Overseas Arrivals and Departures data for August, which revealed that immigration has collapsed to its lowest level since mid-2003:

In the year to August 2020, net long-term arrivals were 156,960, down 45% from the 283,860 recorded in February before Australia’s border restrictions came into effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Net long-term arrivals have dipped marginally below the long-term (44-year average) of 158,600 and are now broadly in line with the late 1980’s peak.

The monthly net long-term arrivals data correlates strongly with the ABS’ quarterly net overseas migration (NOM) data, which is current to March 2020:

As you can see, it is pointing to big falls in NOM.

This is unsurprising given the federal budget forecast that NOM will turn negative for the first time since the Second World War, recording declines of -71,600 in 2020-21 and -21,600 in 2021-22, before recovering to 95,900 in 2022-23 and 201,100 in 2023-24:

In other words, this is only the beginning.

Don’t fall for the property lobby’s spin. This is a great outcome. When the post-virus recovery ultimately comes, it will be far more evenly distributed between workers and capital with higher salaries in place of higher house prices leading to much more investment and rising productivity.

That is a much fairer and more sustainable mix of growth than the stupidity of the population ponzi scheme.

Unconventional Economist


    • You are talking about the provisional data, not the final data. The final data for August was released yesterday. The provisional data for September comes out today. The data presented above is based on the final data.

  1. “It’s official: Immigration is collapsing”

    I haven’t heard a plane fly over my house in some months so I’m taking this statement for granted 😉

    • Yes, whenever I see a plane now it reminds me of those post-apocalyptic movies where the characters finally see a plane overhead and realise that some sort of civilization or military outpost has survived.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      A lot of MB bloggers are of the opinion that very few of the migrants will go home (leave Australia) no matter how much unemployment we get because this place is still better than where they came from, but MB’ers are missing the fact that the migrants always pick the best perceived place to go otherwise they may have settled for Indonesia or similar. So when our economy tanks they will be using Aust as a stepping stone to get to greener pastures.

      • I hope you’re right, boom.

        I just think that many think they’ve spent so much (including money provided by family and borrowed from friends) that to walk away from such an ‘investment’ ..

        You’ve heard them whingeing and whining about the lack of opportunity in the press – demanding the taxpayer fund additional training etc.

  2. No real news from the ABS, Sydney airport’s published passenger stats have been close enough to zero for months.

    Key question is, whether migration will bounce back once a vaccine or more effective treatments arrive. It won’t be zero, it won’t be as high as it was before, at least initially, but how fast it recovers will be very, very interesting.

    • The powers that be will do ANYTHING to restart the ponzi.
      The credit impulse can’t be sustained for long without fresh bodies for the banks to lend to. Construction, employment, and money growth will collapse and bring down the whole Ponzi without it. The ‘system’ cannot survive without a return to super high immigration so the ‘system’ will fight to save it.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        It’s a cultural immune system. Any alternative to the current economic paradigm will resisted by the people and organizations that have benefitted from 30 years of misfeasance.

        This year’s budget is akin to a Cytokine Storm, working against any alternative solution that could save the economy.

      • If they don’t come perhaps the Gubmint will pay them to come 😉

        How good’s having other people’s money at your disposal.

  3. kiwikarynMEMBER

    Yesterday I was served by a Kiwi behind the counter at the petrol station. Only anecdotal, and only a small sample, but its a good start. I shall report back next time I go to my local fast food franchise.

  4. Hopefully Glady’s lover/ex-lover Maguire’s revelations at NSW ICAC that he’s been involved in an immigration visa rort is another nail in the immigration coffin.

  5. Three cheers for COVID-19, I guess…. nothing short of a killer pandemic would unravel Australia’s corrupt federal government and their silent, rat cunning population policy

  6. Net arrivals over the past 8 months will have been boosted by Aussies returning from overseas, while early on, various visa holders fled.

    • PaperRooDogMEMBER

      I wonder what sort of people are coming back, are they mostly backpackers, long term emigrants (like nurses working in UK), Aussies with dual passports eg Lebanese, Hong Kongers, guess it’s all of above

  7. This would be great news if it was a policy decision rather than merely just a positive externality of Covid.

  8. Jumping jack flash

    Give it a bit. That “advanced manufacturing” dream of Scotty’s isn’t going to create itself. And apparently Australians are incapable of creating new jobs. We need skilled migrants for that.

    If I’m reading between the lines correctly then they’re certainly setting up to kick start it again. There really isn’t any alternative in our New Economy other than crash, and that’s probably not an option.

  9. Now we just need to find a way to get rid of the 2 million temporary visa holders who still here and still holding out. If we can make some inroads into those numbers then that would be something to truly celebrate.