Extra 539,000 now call Australia home as migration hits a record high
More than half a million migrants came to Australia in the last financial year, new figures from the Bureau of Statistics show.
While 539,000 people arriving was the highest number of overseas migrants ever to come to Australia’s shores in one year, the figure was offset by 276,000 leaving.
Over the year, almost 87,000 people moved from another state to Victoria and 68,500 left – producing Victoria’s highest ever net gain, Mr Burleigh said.
“Queensland was just behind, with a net gain of 17,800 people.”
Of the 539,000 people who migrated to Australia over the year, 315,000 arrived on a temporary visa – including just over 150,000 international students, more than 50,000 on a working holiday, and 32,000 workers on temporary skill visas.
Migration to Victoria among those on temporary visas reached a 12-year high, driven by increasing numbers of international students. Almost 97,000 people on temporary visas arrived in Victoria – about half of them students.
Over the same year about 34,000 people on temporary visas left Australia, resulting in a net increase of about 63,000. The year before, net migration on temporary visas was about 50,000.
Economist Terry Rawnsley said the population boom placed great strain on Victorian infrastructure.
“The trade-off is that the big number coming for higher education,” said Mr Rawnsley, from SGS Economics and Planning. He said education exports accounted for $9 billion worth of Victoria exports in the 2016-17 financial year.
“This is almost 20 per cent of total Victorian exports. This is compared to $1.8 billion for dairy exports and $2.4 billion of meat export,” he said. Education exports had tripled over the past decade, he said.