13 July 2009

Report finds Australia to increasingly rely on immigration

A leading international market reserach organisation has released a report that shows Australia's demographics will undergo some important changes over the next decade, and that immigration will be a big part of the country's future.

Australia immigration

Australia will increasingly rely on immigration in the future, a new report shows.

IBISWorld predicts that the country will increasingly depend on people immigrating to Australia as birthrates fall in the next decades.

Australia's population, which is currently around 21.4 million, will reach 25.7 million by 2020 - growing by around 1.5% a year.  The median age of Australia's population is 36.7 years, and IBISWorld expects this to rise to 37.9 by 2020 (compared to 27.5 in 1971), with high immigration to Australia over the past decade slowing growth in the median age.

It predicts net migration to Australia will total around 2.5 million between now and mid-2020, eventually becoming the only form of population growth in the country as the ageing population and comparatively low fertility rate will cause the number of annual deaths to overtake the number of babies born, probably some time in the 2030s.

The natural increase in the population contributes just 40.5% of our annual population growth, compared to 59.5% from net overseas migration to Australia.

Australia can boast the highest percentage of foreign-born population in the world (24.6 per cent), made up from a staggering 150 different ancestries. Canada has the second highest proportion, followed by the USA, Austria, Germany, Belgium, France, Sweden and Britain.

A staggering four million (20 per cent) were born overseas, and the top 10 birthplaces were: UK and Ireland; New Zealand; Italy; former Yugoslavia; Vietnam; Greece; Germany; China; Hong Kong; and the Netherlands.

Australian is still the most common ethnic background, followed by English, Irish, Italian, German, Chinese and Scottish. Other significant groups in terms of numbers include Greeks, Lebanese, Indians, Vietnamese and Polish.

And while Australia's overall ethnic composition is currently 69.88 per cent Anglo-Celtic, 6.96 per cent Southern European, 6.88 per cent North and West European, 5.02 per cent Eastern European (including Israelis/Jews), 2.72 per cent North East Asian, 2.54 per cent South East Asian, 2.46 per cent West and North African, 1.55 per cent Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander, 1.31 per cent South Asian, and 0.68 per cent other, IBISWorld expects it will become increasingly Eurasian as the 21st century progresses.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with Australian visas and immigration

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