28 September 2012

Latest figures show Australian immigration high

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The latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown a two year high in Australian immigration.

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Australian immigration has pushed the country's population to over 25 million

The net overseas migration for the year ending in March showed an 18% increase on the same period last year, almost 200,000. The report also showed the country's entire population surpassing 22.5 million, with 57% of the growth being attributed to Australian immigration.

Western Australia's massive mining industry fuelled the fastest population growth in the country, with more than 70,000 people, over 3%, moving there last year.

Every other Australian state recorded a population growth in the past year but analysts are claiming the lure of high paid, abundant opportunity in the mines of Western Australia and even Queensland to a certain extent, have left New South Wales struggling to attract newcomers.

New South Wales recorded a population growth of 1% but the state government has announced its intention to use migration to further grow its economy. However, with its reliability on soft services being dwarfed by the progress of the mining industry across the country, it could be some time before new policies take effect.

The ABS report also showed a surprising drop in the number of permanent residents in Australia taking Australian citizenship when they became eligible.

While 84,183 eligible people chose to take Australian citizenship in 2011-12, this is more than 2,000 fewer than 2001-02, despite the immigration rate having doubled in that time.

Leonie Cotton, casework manager at the Australian Visa Bureau, says the drop in people taking citizenship is likely due to a greater diversity of nationalities moving to Australia now.

"Britain has traditionally been Australia's greatest source of migrants for decades and Brits can hold dual Australian and British citizenship without a problem," said Ms Cotton.

"However, as we've seen over the past few years, large numbers of citizens from other countries such as China and India have moved to Australia and some countries do not allow their citizens to hold dual citizenship."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.

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