02 February 2010

Australian immigration to boost population to 36 million by 2050

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An Australian Government report has projected Australia’s population will grow by more than half to 36 million by mid-century - mainly through immigration.

Australian immigration

Australia expects to increase the population by 14 million by mid-century, with increased immigration combined with the birth rate.

The country anticipates adding an additional 14 million people by using a strong Australian immigration program to attract skilled workers, as well as the natural increase in population through births.

The report released by the government aims to help plan for the future challenges of an aging population, namely the escalating health costs and urban development issues.

When releasing the report, Treasurer Wayne Swan said that while a population of 36 million was not a target similar population growth could help pay for upcoming generations of retirees and keep the Australian economy strong.

The number of Australians over the retirement age of 65 is expected to double by 2050, and the GDP is expected to slow to an annual average of 2.7 per cent from the average of 3.3 per cent over the last 40 years.

"To some extent, the higher population growth would help us manage the challenges of an aging population," Mr Swan told the National Press Club.

"But there's no doubt rising population will place pressures on us as well," he said.

Australia has traditionally had a strong migration program encouraging new migrants to settle in the country.

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