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CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

More records for Chinese tourism

Immigration steady

Net permanent and long term immigration continued to meander along at +263,600 over the year to January 2017. 

An increase in permanent settlers has been more than offset by record high permanent departures.

That said, as discussed here previously, overwhelmingly "permanent" departures have historically ended up back in Australia within the year. 

The number of British and New Zealander settlers continues to drop, continuing a multi-year trend since the peak of the mining boom, but through 2016 there was an offsetting surge in the humanitarian intake into Australia. 

You can see this more clearly when splitting out the permanent settlers hailing from North Africa and the Middle East. 

The other strong numbers for permanent settlers are hailing from China (1,650 in January) and India (1,480), now far outstripping Kiwis (950) and Brits (630), with Asia accounting for more than 55 per cent of total settlers. 

Records ahoy

While permanent and long term immigration into Australia is steady, short term arrivals are positively booming, the lower dollar helping total short term arrivals smash through a record 8.3 million over the year. 

Aussies are still taking record numbers of overseas trips - as you might expect in a country with a household wealth of more than $9 trillion - but statistically we seem to be taking more holidays to cheaper locations such as Bali and perhaps equivalently fewer to the US, another impact of the depreciation in the currency. 

I've written here often about how international students will be a key driver of population growth in Australia moving forward, and record course commencements have been echoed in some 520,800 arrivals for education purposes over the year to January.

The number of Chinese visitors tore higher from 114,500 in January last year to a thunderous 166,100 in January 2017 in original terms, as the records continue to tumble. 

With the dates of Chinese New Year moving around from year to year, there could yet be more records in the post in the coming months, but the trend is clear enough: boom!

The wrap

In terms of what this means in Australia, the impacts of immigration will largely be seen in the largest capital cities, with Sydney and Melbourne mopping up a record share of population growth this year.

It is becoming more and more obvious that permanent migrants are increasingly arriving from China and India.

What's less well recognised is that the number of people in Australia on temporary visas increased by more than 90,000 over the to September 2016 to close to 2 million, with student visas accounting for about half of the increase. 

Population growth numbers in the largest capitals will remain high, while some Sydneysiders will head north this year to Brisbane and south-east Queensland. 

Across the remainder of the country population growth has slowed dramatically since the peak of the mining boom.