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[Podcast] Australia: a land built on immigration, but what’s ahead? With Simon Kuestanmacher

[Podcast] Australia: a land built on immigration, but what’s ahead? With Simon Kuestanmacher
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Since the First Fleet dropped anchor in 1788, close to 10 million immigrants have moved from across the world to start a new life in Australia.

They have arrived in waves, encouraged by developments like the 1850s gold rushes, or to escape adverse conditions at home such as the Industrial Revolution’s social upheavals in 19th-century Britain, the two world wars, and the aftermath of the Vietnam War in the 1970s. My Podcast #268 Migration

Collectively these migrants have helped shape what was a uniquely British-based and now multicultural society in Australia.

In today’s podcast, I chat with leading demographer Simon Kuestenmacher about the history of migration and how it’s changed our culture and our property markets over the years, and what’s happening to migration now because of our border restrictions.

Australia is the land built on migration

Immigration to Australia began about 80,000 years ago. And from the 17th century on, the continent was explored by Europeans.

European settlements began to crop up around 1788, and the discovery of gold in 1851 drove more activity and permanent settlements. Immigrants have been queuing up to come to the country ever since.

But what’s happening to immigration in our nation at the moment?

  • About 2/3 of our population growth pre-pandemic came from migration.
    • Only 1/3 came from natural growth.
    • During COVID, the migration has completely disappeared. For the first time, more immigrants went out than in.
  • Our country is so much more multicultural than other nations.
    • When people are concerned about migration and focus on asylum seekers, it’s not really relevant, because it’s such a small number.
  • One of the biggest drivers of migration in recent times is international students.
    • One in 6 of those students become permanent residents.
  • You can grow the GDP through the sheer number of people added to the country.
  • The natures of homes and neighbourhoods have changed because of migration.
    • We can see this in everything from the design of homes to the food available to buy.
  • We will still see more people coming into Australia as long as they’re allowed.
    • Australia is attractive to international students.
    • We also still need skilled workers.
  • Millennials are moving out of their apartments as they age and move on to the next stage, but apartment living remains necessary because of the population size.
    • We will still need apartments, but we may need different ones moving forward. We will need more family-friendly


Simon Kuestenmacher - Director of Research at The Demographics Group

As our markets move forward why not get the team at Metropole to build you a personalised Strategic Property Plan – this will help both beginning and experienced investors.

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Michael is the founder of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.

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