IPA Research: Unprecedented One Million Long-term Arrivals Entered Australia In 2023

Written by:
18 February 2024
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“The latest data from the ABS reinforces the unprecedented and unplanned size and growth of Australia’s migration intake. This is placing immense pressure on housing and our critical infrastructure and has not solved our worker shortage crisis,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

Today, the IPA released new research analysing the growth of Australia’s migration program, based on new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The analysis established:

  • 2023 was the first year in history where Australia’s permanent and long-term arrivals topped one million, at 1,091,210. By way of context, it took a decade for the 1 millionth post-World War Two migrant to arrive in Australia in 1955.
  • Net migration arrivals for 2023 were 447,790, by far the highest on record, the second highest occurring in 2008 at 327,680.
  • The share of new net migration as a proportion of the total population in 2023 is double the post-World War Two average annual rate of 1.67 per cent compared with the long run average of 0.79%.

“Migration has and will continue to play a critical role to our national social fabric and economy, but failure to undertake proper planning has directly driven housing shortages, household cost of living increases and has placed pressure on our education, health, and welfare systems,” said Mr Wild.

The research also established that the share of the Australian population born overseas is now at a record 31%. This is more than double the USA and UK at 15% and 14% respectively, and higher than Canda at 21% and NZ at 29%.

In December 2023, IPA research found the federal government’s migration program is out of step with community expectations. Polling showed 60% of Australians want migration paused until more housing and infrastructure is built. Only 23% did not want a pause, and 17% unsure.

“It is clear that the federal government’s migration program is unplanned, out of control, and out of step with community expectations,” said Mr Wild.

“On top of this it has failed to address Australia’s worker shortage crisis, the very thing the federal government uses to justify such rapid increases in intake. It is clear this lazy approach to solving worker shortages is not working and there should be a greater focus of getting Australian pensioners, veterans and students into work.”

“Australia has and always will be a welcoming country, we have a rich multi-ethnic and multi-racial culture, but unsustainably increasing migration is not in the interest of a majority of Australians, including those who recently migrated here themselves,” said Mr Wild.

To download the IPA’s research click here.

Note: The ABS categories of permanent arrivals, long-term visitors arriving, and long-term residents returning equate to “permanent and long-term arrivals” in this report. The individuals in these categories are the same those included in the net overseas migration figure, with the exception of the 12/16 rule, where new arrivals count as overseas migrants if they stayed in Australia for 12 out of the last 16 months.

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