March 6, 2016 If Australia wants to advance as a nation, it needs more people. The average number of babies Australian women have is now less than two (last year the fertility rate hit a 10-year low of 1.8). With zero net migration, Australia's population would remain steady at around 25 million from 2045. However the composition of that population would include many more elderly people and not enough working age people to support them.
In the last two decades, Australian population has increased in line with migration. Last year, 53% of total population growth was the result of immigration and 47% by natural increase (births minus deaths).
Of the various categories that make up the migration intake, for the last two decades, the bulk has come from skilled migration rather than family and humanitarian programs. This reflects policy priorities as expressed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, which says: 'The purpose of migration is to build the economy, shape society, support the labour market and reunite family.'
Surely Australia would need more workers, managers and professionals to achieve this. If they are not coming from natural increases (due to our comparatively low fertility rate) or from immigration, where are these people going to come from?
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