SBS Punjabi

Proportion of Australians born overseas has fallen for the first time in two decades

SBS Punjabi

Where do we all come from

Where do we all come from Source: Pixabay


Published 2 May 2022 at 11:04am
By Tim Wharton, Tys Occhiuzzi
Presented by Harleen Kaur
Source: SBS

Population data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed the proportion of Australians born overseas has fallen for the first time in over 20 years.


Published 2 May 2022 at 11:04am
By Tim Wharton, Tys Occhiuzzi
Presented by Harleen Kaur
Source: SBS


For decades, Australia has been a magnet for overseas migration, joining the United States, Canada and New Zealand as one of the world's major 'immigration nations'.  

As the national population approaches 26 million people, Australia, for the first time, has recorded its first decrease in its overseas-born population since the year 2000.

The COVID pandemic has put a halt on migration around the world, and Simon Kuestenmacher from the Demographics Group in Melbourne, says that's bad news for the economy.

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"Lots of industries very much struggle because of the lack of migration. We can immediately think of universities which lost lots of international students, which are of course their main source of revenue, so it's concerning for that sector. It's concerning for the inner city housing market because of the lack of migrants. But we do need to remember that the lack of migrants actually feeds into the whole of economy because we're missing out on workers in all sectors, so that's not good." 

In 2021, 7.5 million Australians, or 29.1 percent of the population, were born overseas. That's down by 200,000 from 2020.

According to Dr Liz Allen from the Australian National University's Centre for Social Research and Methods, the reopening of Australia's borders does not necessarily mean those migration numbers will be recovered.

"I think that Australia has a lot of work to do, now and in the immediate future, to re-establish migration links to its nearest neighbours and to make those links mutually beneficial for the countries of origin, the people that travel, and for the local Australian population."

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