27/03/2014 - 14:18

WA migration rate on decline

27/03/2014 - 14:18

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Migration to Western Australia has fallen by more than 40 per cent in less than two years, with a slowdown in the resources sector driving a big fall in the number of workers moving west.

Migration to Western Australia has fallen by more than 40 per cent in less than two years, with a slowdown in the resources sector driving a big fall in the number of workers moving west.

At the peak of the resources construction boom in the March 2012 quarter, almost 1,500 overseas and interstate migrants moved to WA every week, in net terms.

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that number fell to 890 per week (net) in the September 2013 quarter.

WA attracted 578 interstate migrants (net) in the three months to September 2013, the lowest quarterly figure since December 2009.

It is a far cry from the March 2012 quarter, when the number of interstate migrants peaked at 3,395 in net terms.

The number of overseas migrants, meanwhile, fell in net terms from a peak of 16,059 in the March 2012 quarter to 10,991 in September 2013.

Despite this, WA's population continues to grow at a faster rate than any other state or territory.

The state's total population, including natural increase, grew by 3.1 per cent in the 12 months to September, easily outpacing Victoria (1.9 per cent) and Queensland (1.8 per cent).

The bulk of WA's population growth continues to come from overseas migration, with 48,442 people heading to WA over the 12-month period.

Natural increase represented 21,063 of the state's new residents, while 6,841 residents migrated from interstate.

Australia's population grew by 1.8 per cent, which Commonwealth Bank of Australia economist Diana Mousina said was fast by global standards.

"In the OECD, as a whole, the rate of population growth is around one‑third of that in Australia," she said.

"Around 28 per cent of Australia’s current population was born overseas. This share stands at the highest level since the late 19th century.

"This share is also very high by international standards. In most countries, immigrants account for less than 15 per cent of the population."

Housing Industry Association economist Geordan Murray said the strong growth figures underscored the need to ensure housing supply kept up with demand.

"We have a situation where the importance of migration in securing the nation's future economic prosperity is widely, and appropriately, acknowledged," he said.

"It is vital that the implications of stronger population growth for housing demand are reflected in a clear and strategic focus on housing supply policy from all levels of government."

 

 

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