The Australian population is on target to surpass 36 million people by the middle of this century.
07 March 2012
Australian immigration causes population to soar
The numbers of people arriving in Australia, whether illegally by boat or legitimately with a valid Australian visa, have caused the population to swell and place the country back on track to reach the so called 'Big Australia'.
The number of people choosing to move to Australia has hit a two year high, with the 14,210 arrivals in January alone marking a 41-month high. These recent statistics have caused the 'Big Australia', an estimate that the Australian population would reach 36 million by the middle of this century which was originally dismissed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard during the last election, to appear to be back on track.
Latest figures from the Australian Immigration Department show that net migration to Australia currently stands at 184,000 a year but predict that number will surpass 200,000 within four years.
The increase in population is not solely down to immigration either, the number of foreign nationals residing in Australia who go on to claim permanent residency has a significant impact on population growth while the number of asylum seekers who are granted an Australian visa is also increasing.
A total of 4,260 asylum seekers were granted an Australian visa in the second of half 2011, more than the number granted during the whole of the previous year and this number is looking set to rise even further with recent announcements from the Australian government that as many as 400 asylum seekers a month will be released into the community.
The Australian population currently stands at approximately 23 million and while the country itself is sparsely populated, the cities and towns around the coasts, particularly the eastern coast, have much higher population densities and some have raised concerns about how well cities and property prices will cope with an influx of people.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy London.