Emigration to Australia is linked to economic conditions, a demographer has said.
12 July 2010
Emigration to Australia and population surge linked to jobs growth
A leading demographer has attributed the recent migration and population growth to the booming economy.
Leading Australian National University demographer Peter McDonald says population growth is not independent of the economy, and that both migration and fertility rates are products of economic conditions.
Migration is a function of labour demand, and the number of applications for an Australia visa slumps during recessions and booms in the good times.
While Australia has experienced low times of migration, for example during 1890s, the 1930s, the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s, the historic highs of Australian migration in the past few years have been because of the economic boom conditions.
Last week's labour figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Australia's employment growth was increasing more than 3 per cent a year. Some 336,000 new jobs have been added in the past year.
In 2007-08, 88 per cent of net migration came from people entering Australia on temporary visas, including overseas students, temporary working visas, New Zealanders, tourists and Australian working holiday makers, McDonald says.
Migrants are both a vital part of driving consumer demand for goods and services, as well as a source of labour for the growing economy.