25 May 2010

South Australia discusses migration as a solution to low population growth

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South Australia currently has the slowest population growth of all Australian mainland states, new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.

Migration - overseas, interstate and intrastate -  is the most volatile component of population increase with the state loosing many young, skilled workers to other Australian states or territories.

In the 12 months to June 2009, South Australia's estimated resident population only grew by 1.2 per cent, compared to 2.1 per cent for all of Australia, with a key factor behind the slow growth rate being the state’s annual net loss of people due to interstate migration.

This issue is highlighted in the State Population Policy (Government of South Australia 2004) and South Australia's Strategic Plan (2007), which set the target of reducing annual net interstate migration loss to zero by 2010, and then sustaining a net inflow through to 2014.

The Australian Bureau of Statics found that people aged 20-39 are a substantial proportion of all South Australia  departures, a major loss to the state’s labour force.

The slow population growth in the state, and the loss of young workers to other states, could mean South Australia will focus on skilled migration and target specific occupations from workers willing to emigrate to Australia from overseas countries.

The South Australian government is expected to release a State Migration Plan, which will list the occupations eligible for state sponsorship, on 1 July 2010.


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