Underpinning any discussion of the shape and demographics of Australia into the future must consider migration.
Recently, the Commonwealth government released the ‘2015 Intergenerational Report’ which assesses the long-term sustainability of current Government policies and how changes to Australia’s population size and age profile may impact on economic growth, workforce and public finances over the next 40 years.
Underpinning every projection and analysis under this report is the assumption that Australia’s overseas migration gain will need to ensure a net population gain of 215,000 per annum into the future. At current rates of fertility, Australia’s population would in fact shrink without the net migration gain. Based upon a projected population growth rate of 1.3 per cent per year, slightly below the average of the last 40 years, Australia’s population is estimated to increase from 23.9 million today to 39.7 million in 2054-55.
What is the significance of this?
As a society, we will need to have a continuing conversation on what type of Australia we are and wish to become into the future. Migration will have a continuing impact into the future on economic forecasts (and our forecast tax receipts), labour, productivity and development. There can only be opportunities for those individuals and businesses wanting to navigate into this future.
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