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Population Growth

Overseas migrants coming into Australia have NOT caused the rental shortage crisis, as some have claimed, but they are certainly adding to the problem.

The latest population data from the ABS suggests Australia in FY2023 experienced its biggest one-year jump in population, fuelled by a record 518,100 new migrants calling the country home.

And that has prompted warnings that the nation’s rental market will remain under pressure for years.

The population swelled by 624,100 in 2022-23 – that’s around 1,700 people a day – with 80 per cent of the extra residents occurring in the eastern states – despite the fact the WA had the highest percentage growth during the year.

According to the ABS, Victoria’s population grew 181,000 to 6.8 million, while NSW added 172,600 to 8.3 million.

Most migrants to Australia moved to four states: NSW took in 174,000, Victoria added 154,000, Queensland gained 84,000 while WA accepted 61,600.

The ABS noted temporary visa holders such as international students were the main contributor to the high net migration level.

Migration accounted for 83 per cent of total population growth through the year as natural increase – births minus deaths – continued to fall, with the short-lived COVID-19 baby boom well and truly over.

WA had the highest percentage growth, up 3.1%, followed by Victoria 2.7% and Queensland 2.6%.

Those with growth well below that 2.4% national average were Tasmania (up just 0.3%) and the Northern Territory (up 0.9%).

The Federal Government says it is overhauling its migration strategy to address key skills shortages across the economy, while at the same time reducing the number of temporary workers in the country to ease population and housing pressures.

The rental shortage crisis has been building steadily for the past eight years and has not been caused by this recent upsurge in migration.

But high levels of new residents from overseas are certainly adding to the problem, for which the nation’s politicians have no solutions – although the remedies are starkly obvious.


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