New ABS Data Confirms Monthly Migration Intake Exceded 100,000 For First Time In History

Written by:
17 April 2024
New ABS Data Confirms Monthly Migration Intake Exceded 100,000 For First Time In History - Featured image

“New ABS data shows Australia’s migration intake remains out of control, with promises to ‘normalise’ arrivals in tatters. Combined with plummeting housing construction approvals, Australia is being set up for a disaster,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest Overseas Arrivals and Departures data shows unplanned mass migration reached a record high in February 2024, with permanent and long-term arrivals exceeding 100,000 for the first time. IPA analysis has established: (charts over page)

  • Net permanent and long-term arrivals in February 2024 were at a record monthly high of 105,460.
    • This is the first time net monthly permanent and long-term arrivals have exceeded 100,000. It is 19 per cent higher than the previous record of 88,810 in February 2023.
  • Net permanent and long-term arrivals in the 12-months to February 2024 totaled 498,270. This is the highest 12-months to February number on record. It is 44 per cent higher than the previous record of 346,470 in the 12-months to February 2009.
  • Housing construction approvals in February 2024 were just 12,520, equivalent to 12 per cent of net permanent and long-term arrivals in the same period.
    • Australian housing approval levels are now as low as the 1980s’ average, despite population almost doubling.

“The data proves that the federal government’s unplanned mass migration program is unsustainable. It actively undermines Australians who are struggling to find a home as increasing demand and a lack of supply is pricing them out of the market,” said Mr Wild.

“Despite repeated warnings, the federal government continues to push the accelerator on migration at the exact same time as the brakes are being slammed on housing approvals. We are setting ourselves up for a disaster.”

“The failure to rein in migration is making it harder for Australians to get ahead at a time of acute cost of living pressure. Today, per capita GDP has fallen for four consecutive quarters, meaning Australians, at an individual level, are already in a recession,” said Mr Wild.

In December, the federal government made a commitment to ‘normalise’ Australia’s migration intake after claiming a rapid increase in migration was warranted to solve Australia’s worker shortage crisis. The data illustrates that out-of-control intakes have not solved worker shortages.

“The federal government’s lazy, short sighted migration strategy has failed to solve our worker shortage crisis. Today, one-in-five business still cannot get the workers the need to grow their operations, despite over a million migrants arriving last year,” said Mr Wild.

“Migration has played a critical role in our history, and will continue to do so, but it must be planned for, and the federal government must deliver sustainable economic growth through increased productivity, not by merely bringing in record numbers of arrivals we cannot accommodate.”

To download the IPA’s research click here.

Chart 1: Net monthly overseas permanent and long-term arrivals (trend) compared to monthly dwelling approvals (Source: ABS, IPA. Note: Net arrivals data is adjusted by using an average of the preceding 12 months.)

Chart 2: Net permanent and long-term arrivals in the 12-months to February (Source: ABS, IPA)

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