Australia's population grew by 1.6% or 359,600 people in the year to the end of June 2012. 58% of that rise was caused by immigration. The population reached 22.7m in July, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Last year, the Australian population grew by only 1.14%. This coincided with a period when levels of immigration were lower than normal. In 2009, the Australian government curbed immigration in response to the global economic slowdown.
Now that the immigration rate has gone up,
Australian population growth is outstripping that in other developed countries.
Canada experienced a 1% growth in population over the same period. The US
population rose by 0.9%, the UK's by 0.6% and France's by 0.5%.
immigration caused the population to rise by about 208,000 in the year to June
2012. There were some 472,000 arrivals and 264,000 departures. The net
immigration figure increased by 22% from 2011 when the net immigration figure
was only 170,000. Natural population growth, caused by a greater level of births
than of deaths, caused a rise of only about 151,500; there were 298,000 births
and 145,500 deaths.
Net immigration figures include temporary
migrants who travel to Australia to work on temporary work visas such as 457
visas providing they stay in the country for over 12 months. There was strong
growth in the number of international workers coming to Australia with temporary
work visas (known as '457 visas'). The number of 457 visas granted rose by 26.6%
in the year to July. 457 visas entitle their holders to live and work in
Australia for up to 4 years. The greatest number of 457 visas was issued to
construction workers though many also went to resources industry
The greatest percentage rise in population occurred in
Western Australia where the population grew by 78,000 or 3.3%. Western Australia
is home to much of Australia's resources industry. There were also significant
rises in population in Victoria (89,000), Queensland (86,000) and New South
Gareth Aird, an economist with the Commonwealth Bank,
told journalists that the growth in the number of 457 visas 'reflect[ed] a
relatively strong labour market by international standards and the strong Aussie
dollar'. Mr Aird explained that a strong dollar increases the attractiveness of
working in Australia for immigrants, particularly temporary immigrants, because
it increases the real value of their wages outside Australia.
Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in Australia. Please check
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