New ABS Data Confirms Highest 12-Month Net Migration In History

Written by:
22 March 2024
New ABS Data Confirms Highest 12-Month Net Migration In History - Featured image

“ABS data shows the federal government has failed to get control of Australia’s migration intake, despite promises it would. This failure is making housing unaffordable for Australians and, as the RBA confirmed, is driving up inflation,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics’ quarterly data on Net Overseas Migration, confirms that record and unplanned mass migration continued to surge in the September 2023 quarter. Analysis of the data by the IPA has established: (charts over page)

  • Net overseas migration for the last financial year and this financial year is now projected to be over 343,000 higher than the federal government projections in 2023-24 federal Budget.
  • Net Overseas Migration from 1 July 2023 to 30 September 2023 was 145,200. This is the highest September quarter intake in Australia’s history, and 16 per cent higher than the previous highest September quarter in 2022.
  • Net Overseas Migration for the 12-month-period to September 2023 (from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023) was 548,800. This was the highest 12-month net migration period in Australia’s history, and 60 per cent higher than the previous highest 12-month to September period in 2022.
  • Based on these trends, total Net Overseas Migration for the full 2023-24 financial year will reach approximately 530,000, or 215,000 more than the federal government’s forecast in the 2023-24 budget.

“The federal government’s failure to reign in its out-of-control migration strategy is making it harder for Australians to get ahead at a time of acute cost of living pressures. Today, per capita GDP has been negative for four consecutive quarters, meaning Australians, at an individual level, are in a recession,” said Mr Wild.

“It has also failed to solve the nation’s worker shortage challenge, with the number of job vacancies nationwide barely declining between September and November. Today, 20 per cent of Australian businesses still cannot get the workers they need to grow.”

The analysis also reveals that in the September 2023 quarter, 84 per cent of the country’s population growth was due to overseas arrivals, and only 16 per cent of the country’s population growth was a result of natural increase (births minus deaths).

“IPA research has established that the share of the Australian population born overseas is now at a record 31 per cent. This is more than double the USA and UK at 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively, and higher than Canada at 21 per cent and New Zealand at 29 per cent,” said Mr Wild.

“Recent events, such as protests over the conflict in the Middle East, have shown Australia’s social cohesion, a key to our long-run migration programme’s success, is being sorely tested, and there has been no leadership from Canberra to unite communities.”

“Migration has played a critical role in Australia’s national story, and will continue to do so, but it must be planned for. The federal government must create the policy environment for sustainable economic growth through increased productivity, not by dramatically increasing the population through migration, which the country cannot sustainably accommodate,” said Mr Wild.

To download the IPA’s research click here.

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