Don’t be scared by claims Australia is being inundated by migrants
Lately there has been some very weird discussion about immigration. People have been claiming that it is at record levels and there have been scary looking graphs going around showing a record number of migrants in the past year. One popular AM talkback program in Sydney, today screamed “Australia is being crippled by migration.”
Yes there has been a large spike recently but just focusing on this ignores the fact that we saw a massive fall during COVID.
Instead of looking at quarterly figures or even annual figures we should look at a period that fully captures the whole COVID era to get a much clearer view of what is actually happening. If we divide the last 18 years into three-year periods we can see the last three years has actually seen a fall in net migration.
What is happening is that net migration has spiked up because people are coming back after leaving during COVID. This does not appear to be the case of a sudden new increase in immigration, but rather the unwinding of the COVID period. This has happened in plenty of other COVID time series data (GDP, Retail sales etc.)
There is always worth having a discussion about levels of migration – and the need to ensure governments have plans inplace to deal with the infrastructure needs that a larger population entails.
But using the latest figures to essentially dog whistle about migrants and suggest Australia is being flooded with migrants that we cannot handle and who are to blame for any particular issue reactionaries might wish to use on any particular day is not just misguided but damaging.
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