Immigration now at record breaking levels

Despite evidence of a slowdown in immigration across many parts of Australia, we recently saw immigration accelerate to a 4-year high. population growth

The main population growth is being seen particularly in Melbourne, and in Sydney.

And now it’s getting faster.

In February, permanent and long term arrivals soared to 103,570, the single biggest month on record. 

Meanwhile, long term departures fell to just 30,080, resulting a net intake of 73,490 in a single month, which puts the high volume of apartment construction in a different light.

Of course, immigration can dry up or even turn negative when the outlook turns bad, but for now population growth is absolutely hammering along. 

Wealth Retreat 2018 - Pete Wargent

It may seem odd that the monthly intake just hit a record high given weak employment figures.

But remember that most immigrants head for New South Wales and Victoria where the economies have been performing relatively well, and jobs vacancies have been highest.

Smoothing the permanent and long term immigration figures over the last year shows only an apparently small spike.

However, caution should always be urged when using these numbers from month to month, not least because overwhelmingly the “long term” departures from Australia have historically returned to Australia within a year.



There has been a very sharp drop in the number of permanent settlers from New Zealand and the United Kingdom in recent years.

The big numbers are now hailing from China, and especially India, with a crunching 2,330 Indian settlers in February.


The number of settlers from North Africa & the Middle East has also comfortably more than doubled over the past year, reflecting a quietly increased humanitarian intake.

Record visitors, many from China

Perhaps the less well understood side of the equation is the huge number of short term arrivals to Australia, which tore to another record in February at more than 8.36 million.


There has been a substantial uplift in the number of visitors from America and India, but the real driver has been another record surge in visitors from China.


Lunar New Year straddled January and February this year, but looking at the original data over the three months to February an unprecedented 525,500 visitors from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong graced Australian shores.



Finally, I’ve been blathering on since 2015 about how international students will ultimately become the main driving force of migration into Australia.

And check out the number of education arrivals in February at 123,900, by far the biggest month on record and more than 30 per cent higher than a year ago.


International students largely hail from China, and many are expected in time to become Australian residents on sundry visa types.

The wrapaustralia high resolution

Think I’ve posted more than enough here for a day or two, but my population growth versus dwelling completions models show that the oversupply of apartments in Melbourne…well, it basically isn’t.

In Sydney the story is a little different, in that supply has been playing catch up, but with a record number of dwellings under construction right across the state in 2016 the balance is swing sharply as 2017 rolls on.


Subscribe & don’t miss a single episode of michael yardney’s podcast

Hear Michael & a select panel of guest experts discuss property investment, success & money related topics. Subscribe now, whether you're on an Apple or Android handset.

Need help listening to michael yardney’s podcast from your phone or tablet?

We have created easy to follow instructions for you whether you're on iPhone / iPad or an Android device.


Prefer to subscribe via email?

Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers and get into the head of Australia's best property investment advisor and a wide team of leading property researchers and commentators.

Avatar for Property Update


is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Secretary and has a Financial Planning Diploma. Using a long term approach to building businesses, investing in equities, & owning a portfolio he achieved financial independence at the age of 33. Visit his blog

'Immigration now at record breaking levels' have no comments

Be the first to comment this post!

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.



Michael's Daily Insights

Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers.

NOTE: this daily service is a different subscription to our weekly newsletter so...