‘Big Australia’ immigration rebooted with gusto

The Centre for Population, which is run out of the Australian Treasury, has released its 2021 Population Statement, which projects a quick return to ‘Big Australia’ immigration levels.

Below are key extracts from the statement:

The population of Australia is projected to increase from 25.7 million in 2020-21 to 29.3 million in 2031-32. Australia’s low population growth is forecast to continue through 2020-21 and 2021-22 as a result of the international border restrictions and quarantine  requirements to limit the transmission of COVID-19…

The size of the population is expected to be around 1.5 million people or 4.9 per cent smaller by 2030-31 compared with what was projected in the MYEFO 2019-20, prior to the onset of the pandemic…

Annual population growth is projected to increase from 0.3 per cent in 2021-22 to 1.4 per cent by 2024-25 as net overseas migration recovers to long-run levels of 235,000 (Chart 1 and Table 1). Growth is then projected to gradually decline to 1.2 per cent in 2031-32. This gradual decline in population growth over the medium term results from assumptions that net overseas migration remains steady at 235,000 and the total fertility rate goes to 1.62 babies per woman from 2030-31 onward…

Net overseas migration is forecast to be at a historic low in 2020-21 with a net outflow of 100,000 (Chart 2). Overseas migration is forecast to recover to a net outflow of 41,000 in 2021-22 as border restrictions and quarantine arrangements are relaxed. In 2022-23 it is then forecast to return to net inflows of 180,000, reaching 213,000 in 2023-24. A full return to pre-COVID-19 trends of 235,000 is projected from 2024-25 onwards…

Global migration flows, including to Australia, could increase more quickly if there is a more rapid containment of COVID-19 worldwide. Alternatively, a slower containment of COVID-19, the emergence of new variants or sustained hesitancy to travel could result in a  slower recovery in global migration flows. This box presents an upside and a downside scenario as alternatives to the net overseas migration forecast.

In the upside scenario, migration flows are assumed to return to pre-COVID-19 trends from the March quarter of 2022, so that net overseas migration is positive in 2021-22 and reaches 235,000 persons per year from 2022-23 onwards. In the upside scenario, net overseas migration is higher by 120,000 persons in 2021-22, by 55,000 in 2022-23 and by 22,000 in 2023-24 (Chart 3).

The downside scenario is based on net overseas migration forecasts in Budget 2021-22, which assumed international border restrictions would remain in place until mid-2022 and the recovery in net overseas migration would be more gradual. In the downside scenario, net overseas migration is lower by 36,000 persons in 2021-22, by 84,000 in 2022-23 and by 12,000 in 2023-24.

Australia’s population is projected to reach 29.3 million in 2031-32 under the central case, and 29.5 million in the upside scenario. In the downside scenario, Australia’s population is projected to reach 29.1 million by 2031-32 – a level that it is projected to reach about half a year earlier in the central case, and about a year earlier in the upside scenario (Chart 4)…

The projected distribution of net overseas migration across jurisdictions is based on historical distributions and trends across different visa groups. Each state is forecast to return to pre-COVID-19 trends as national net overseas migration recovers. The greatest shares of net overseas migration flows are projected to go to Victoria and New South Wales.

Recent opinion polls show that the overwhelming majority of Australians do not want to return to pre-COVID levels of immigration.

Australians recognise that the mass immigration program of 2005 to 2020 was managed appallingly and crush loaded everything in sight, resulting in widespread infrastructure bottlenecks across Australia’s major cities and reduced liveability, especially in the migrant epicentres of Melbourne and Sydney.

Sadly, in the unrepresentative democracy of Australia, our politicians, policy makers and media bend the knee to vested interests in the property, business and edu-migration lobbies rather than representing the wishes of the Australian people.

And with it, they have locked in another decade of anaemic wage growth, worsening housing affordability, and declining living standards.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. Thanks for the alert to this report. Dismissing the “independence” of Centre for Population, it’s ludicrous that Treasury’s Steven Kennedy is directly responsible for developing/documenting Australian population policy. Huge conflict of interest.

    Automatically, Kennedy will always fib about productivity and recommend sky-high population growth = lazy Australian GDP growth = lazy Australian Treasurer boasts of “jobs and growth” = plaudits for Kennedy = stuff the voters.

  2. Just about everyone knows what is going on:

    jobs were easier to get

    immigration really does push wages down, and makes people less secure in their roles, as bosses can just import labour.

    I am dreading the return of International Students, Backpackers and Skilled Migrants as this is going to drive down wages and make work conditions deteriorate. Housing will also become unaffordable.


    • Don’t sign up to the army coz you’ll be shootn in the wrong direction and putting your life on the line for politicians house prices

  3. ” they have locked in another decade of anaemic wage growth, worsening housing affordability, and declining living standards.”

    Pascoe demolishes the MYEFO bs wages growth numbers and the treasury population statement 21

    “And if you combine the numbers in MYEFO with Treasury’s Centre for Population annual population statement, the government’s “one million jobs” claim isn’t quite what it seems and proposed migration numbers will have to be higher than suggested.

    MYEFO’s forecast of wages rising by 2.25 per cent this financial year turns into a take-home increase of 1.9 per cent compared with an inflation rate of 2.75 per cent.

    …MYEFO’s forecast of wages rising by 2.25 per cent turns into a take-home increase of 1.9 per cent – with an 2.75 per cent inflation rate.
    The forecast of a 3 per cent wage rise in 2023-24 turns into a fraction more than 2.5 per cent after tax – about the same as the inflation rate.”

  4. Hehe,

    Everything about this is wrong….

    In regards to our environment
    In regards to our housing market
    In regards to our tertiary education sector
    In regards to jobs and industrial relations
    In regards to a unified culture, our demographic make up is such now that diversity is clearly a weakness…..

    And Australia can’t mount a proper argument because it’s accepted the premise of a false grievance over raciam and White supremacy…

    Ona side note, anyone paying attention to CNN this week… “we may be full of pedophiles, we may have tacitly endorsed a stolen election… but at least we don’t use racial slurs…”

    White people using slurs… the new Original sin.

    Seriously, if you accept anything other than tiny, very skilled immigration into Australia right now, you’re a bad parent.

  5. Sake!
    “by 2024-25 as net overseas migration recovers to long-run levels of 235,000 ”
    this is now the long run number!

  6. There is no guarantee Australian can meet let alone sustain such (‘nebulous’ Ian Dunt UK) NOM numbers when dependent upon international students, who have many other choices…. and have been stuffed round and dog whistled forever….. inc. here at MB.

    • What other choices ?

      I’d be astounded if an Australian institution was in the top ten destinations for most international students. Heck, I’d be surprised there was one in the top twenty-five.