Pete Wargent blogspot

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

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Friday, 31 March 2017

Peak Pom!

Overseas born highest since gold rush

The percentage of Australians born overseas continued to rise to 28.5 per cent in FY2016, which is the highest share in over 120 years since the heady gold rush decades of the 1800s.

Australia has long been a country built on immigration, of course, but migrants are now hailing from Asia in numbers not seen previously.

Source: ABS

As European economies slowly recover the composition of new immigrants into Australia is changing dramatically, with some Brits (ta-ra!) and Kiwis also opting to return home after Australia's mining boom years, and fewer new migrants from those countries coming in their stead. 

There is no shortage of willing takers for citizenship from Asia though, with a walloping increase in the number of Chinese, Indian, and other Asian-born residents over the past 10 years. 

Over the past decade the number of Aussie residents from China and especially India has comfortably more than doubled, and the growth rates over the past year of 8 and 6 per cent respectively confirm that this trend is set to continue. 

The figures revealed a genuine concentration of Chinese and other Asian immigrants in Sydney and Melbourne, as residents of those two cities will doubtless attest.

By contrast, the number of Aussie residents born in Germany flattened and then eased back a touch (auf wiedershehen!), and the number of Italian born residents has actually dropped by 10 per cent (arrivederci!). 

Internal migration

In FY2016 there was a significant net migration away from South Australia (6,398) and Western Australia (7,703), as well as the usual net departures from New South Wales (11,349). 

I have already noted how this is helping to fuel record population growth in Melbourne

What has been less widely reported is the steady emergence of south-east Queensland as a monster population growth hub, a trend which will almost certainly intensify over time as the population ages ("he died so young he didn't even make it to Queensland" as someone said to me the other day). 

Population growth increased in FY2016 into Brisbane (41,135), Gold Coast (12,280), and Sunshine Coast (5,967), in part also driven by migration away from Sydney and elsewhere.  

As I noted here yesterday, over time this trend will swell to the extent that the extended 300km strip of coastline from Noosa to the Tweed will gradually become thought of as south-east Queensland or simply "SEQ" rather than individual cities. 

The regional population figures also showed how growth rates have been in a sharp decline in Adelaide, Perth, and Darwin.