Migration in Australia - April 2023
April 4, 2023 / Written by Rich Harvey
Migration into Australia has really ramped up to make up for lost time over the three-year Covid pandemic. With such large numbers of migrants arriving on our shores, it is interesting to examine where most will end up living long term.
What are the total migration numbers predicted to arrive on our shores in 2023? How does this compare to the past 10 years?
The Federal Government’s Centre for Population projects that the net overseas migration (NOM) level will be at an annual average of 235,000 over the next decade. This exceeds the pre-COVID average of 223,600 in the decade leading up to 2019.
For context, in the decade leading up to 2019, NOM in Australia was at a historical high, with the peak in 2009 where NOM reached almost 300,000 (299,870).
What is the nationality and demographic makeup are these migrants?
In the decade leading up to 2019, 31% of Australia’s growth through net overseas migration was from the two most populous countries on Earth; India and China.
Australia’s population grew through an average of 38,800 Indian-born and 31,600 Chinese-born residents in the decade pre-COVID, accounting for 17% and 14% of all migrants respectively.
Where do migrants typically locate once they arrive in Australia? Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth or do they make their way to regional areas immediately?
Sydney and Melbourne are the international gateways for migration and arrivals tend to congregate in the inner-city areas of these capitals. In 2019, 62% of Australia’s NOM was absorbed by Sydney and Melbourne, each growing by more than 70,000. Regional NSW and regional Vic on the other hand, accounted for just 12,100 and 7,200 respectively. Brisbane (18,400), Perth (15,600), and Adelaide (13,900) are also common destinations for migrants.
While migrants tend to arrive in Sydney and Melbourne, their movement to regional Australia is evident. The pace of growth for migrants living in regional NSW and Vic is almost three times as fast as those born in Australia.
Do migrants typically rent before buying a home?
The short answer is, yes. The number one category of permanent arrivals are students and they largely rent. The second category are workers who, also in the short term, rent.
There are several important factors migrants look for when choosing a place to call home in Australia. New migrant arrivals are generally connected to an existing group of migrants of the same culture and normally will settle within this geographical community.
However, these cultural enclaves are dynamic and as the economic capacity of the migrants grows, their geographical spread broadens. The key factors determining where they will initially settle are: cost of rent, availability and connection to their culture (or similar) - whether that be through community, food, or goods and services. Beyond community connection and affordability is access to transport, employment, and study.
Do we have enough housing to keep up with the demand?
Based on the long-term net overseas migration of 235,000 per annum, they will require 90,000 additional homes per annum. While Australia is currently adding an additional 180,000 homes annually this only just covers the needs of a growing population which increased in the last year of 418,000 people, which translates to an equivalent of 160,000 additional homes. This also needs to accommodate emerging households such as young people moving out from their parents, and the broader trend towards smaller household sizes.
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