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Australia’s population growth bouncing back thanks to migration

31 May 20230 comments

Australia saw a net gain of 170,900 people through overseas migration in 2021-22, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The data shows migrant arrivals increased 171 per cent to 395,000 from 146,000 arrivals in the previous a year.

Also, migrant departures decreased 3 per cent to 224,000 from 230,900 departures in the previous year.

Net overseas migration in every state and territory increased in 2021-22 when compared with 2020-21, the ABS said.

Overall Australia’s population was 26,124,814 people at 30 September 2022.

This represents quarterly growth of 128,670 people, or 0.5 per cent, and the annual growth was 418,500 people, or 1.6 per cent.

“In the year ending 30 June 2022, overseas migration contributed a net gain of 171,000 to Australia’s population. This represents a very large increase in net overseas migration on the 2020-21 financial year – which saw a net loss of 85,000 people.” The ABS said.

“Historically, more people migrate to Australia than migrate away each year, meaning overseas migration has been a significant source of population gain for Australia rather than loss. Overseas migration data in Australia shows a pattern of variability over time, due to the ever-changing global and domestic factors affecting migration.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions added to this variability, as did the easing of these international travel restrictions from late 2021 which has resulted in people being able to migrate to Australia again,” the ABS said.

From 2015-16 to 2019-20, the average number of migrant arrivals was 523,000 per year, with 61 per cent of these arriving on temporary visas.

In 2020-21, this proportion dropped to 20 per cent, however it returned to 61 per cent in 2021-22. There was an 84 per cent increase in migrant arrivals for permanent visas holders in 2021-22 compared with 2020-21.

“The number of migrant departures in 2021-22 decreased to 224,000 departures, down from 231,000 the year before. This is a decrease of 3 per cent on the previous year,” the ABS said.

“From 2015-16 to 2019-20, the average number of migrant departures was 294,000 per year with 52 per cent of these departing on temporary visas. In 2020-21, this proportion increased to 63 per cent however in 2021-22 it decreased to 46 per cent.”

The new data set revealed that in 2021-22 the top five countries of birth for migrant arrivals were India, China, Australia, Nepal and the Philippines.

The number of migrant arrivals increased in 2021-22 for all of these countries except for Australia.

The increases for these four countries followed substantial decreases a year earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“India and China experienced very large increases for the year, with India reaching just under 60,000 arrivals and China over 44,000 arrivals,” the ABS said.

“Nepal and the Philippines both increased on the previous year and have now re-entered the top 5 countries again, after each had made brief appearances in 2019-20 (the Philippines) and 2017-18 to 2018-19 (Nepal).”