Australia’s immigration rate has surged to a new record high with more than 115,000 permanent arrivals in just one month.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released new immigration figures on Thursday, hours after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called an election for May 18.
The overseas arrivals data showed 115,100 new people declared Australia as their new home in February, as annual immigration soared by a record 844,800.
The number of new immigrants during the year was 11.4 per cent higher than the same period in 2018.
When the number of people leaving Australia for good was taken into account, the net annual immigration rate stood at a five-year high of 299,190, which includes international students.
In March, Mr Morrison vowed to slash Australia’s net annual immigration rate from 190,000 to 160,000.
This level, however, is still dramatically higher than the 20th century average of 70,000 per year.
Australia’s net annual immigration pace climbed above 200,000 a year in 2012.
In the five years after that, Sydney’s median house price surged by 68 per cent as Melbourne’s equivalent values rose by 54 per cent, before a price correction took hold.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released new immigration figures on Thursday, hours after Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured in Launceston on Thursday) called an election for May 18
Despite high immigration being linked with soaring house prices, CommSec chief economist Craig James said strong population growth was good for the economy.
Australia’s population growth
1881: 2.3 million
1918: 5 million
1959: 10 million
1981: 15 million
1991: 17.4 million
2004: 20 million
2013: 23 million
2016: 24 million
2018: 25 million
Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics; House of Representatives Standing Committee for Long-Term Strategies, December 1994
‘More people are deciding to call Australia home – if not permanently, at least for longer than a year.
‘The lift in permanent and long-term arrivals reflects a perception of Australia as a great place to live and work – a country with a high standard of living and great opportunities.’
In February, 40,740 Australians moved overseas either permanently or for more than year.
Australia’s 1.6 per cent annual population increase is more than double the average of rich nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
In March, a Newspoll of more than 1,000 voters in Sydney and regional New South Wales found 25 per cent of respondents wanted Australia’s immigration pace to be slashed.
Australia’s population surpassed the 25 million milestone in August,22 years earlier than predicted in the federal government’s first inter-generational report of 2002.
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