We all want a stronger and more competitive economy in Australia, don’t we?
The current state of globalization, digital disruption, and population aging is causing significant economic pressure on countries around the world.
And as a property investor or business owner, this could hurt your bottom line.
However, Australia has an ace up its sleeve - migrants!
Immigration is one of the key drivers of innovation and economic growth in Australia today and has been for more than a century.
Having diverse peoples come to our shores fuels ideas, markets, and much-needed skills that help transform our economy into a powerhouse.
But there’s another important part about immigration – future citizens, those migrating now help shape who we are tomorrow.
Today I discuss why Australia needs more migrants and future citizens, with leading demographer, Simon Kuestenmacher, and I believe this is important for you to understand is a property investor, so welcome to today's show.
You’ve heard me say it before…demographics will drive our destiny, and over the long term, demographics are going to influence our property markets much more than the short-term ups and downs caused by inflation or interest rates.
In recent years, increased immigration into Australia has been met with mixed reactions from different sectors of society; however, there are clear benefits for our nation when more people decide to call this land home.
From strengthening labour markets to encouraging innovation and growth within businesses, migrants bring critical skills that are vital for our economy's future success.
That’s why I see that it’s essential that we create an open environment where aspiring citizens feel welcome as they strive towards their goals – something Simon Kuestenmacher stresses both passionately in his work!
- Our population is aging. Australia is home to 558,000 people aged over 85. In the last 20 years, this age group is doubled in size, but in just 13 years will have more than 1 million Australians over 85. In another 18 years (2063) and we will have reached two million people over 85. By 2080 we will have added yet another million.
- Major concern
- how many future elderly would have saved enough money in their superannuation account to pay for their own retirement?
- The growing share of elderly who had low-income careers and don’t own a home is a major concern. They will run out of cash eventually.
- Health care overhaul
- We are already committing 15 per cent of our workforce to health care and social assistance. Four decades ago, that was only 8 per cent.
- Our current population of 25.4 million people (just over half a million of whom are aged over 85) gets serviced by two million healthcare workers.
- Over the past decade, two-thirds of the growth in the migrant population came from Asian nations, while the European-born population declined. Migration appears in cycles. Always has, and always will.
- Greek came to Australia in the 1950s and 60s when we needed migrants in our factories in the world sufficient economic opportunities in Greece
- The most recent migration patterns have changed from Western countries to eastern countries
- There is one major tool that Australia isn’t using adequately to ensure future migrant supply – citizenship.
- We are making it unnecessarily expensive and bureaucratic for migrants to become Australian citizens. Only half of the migrants that have been in the country for a decade are already citizens.
- We know from research into international students, how important the pathway to citizenship is for migrants.
- Already, Indian students prefer Canada over Australia. If Australia doesn’t simplify the pathway to citizenship, we might see the share of the population that was born overseas drop slowly but steadily.
While this might sound comforting to some, our economy and older Australians would be much worse off as a result.
- Reached 26 million, mid-2022
- The 24 millionth arrived in February 2016
- The 23 millionth Australian arrived in April 2013.
- Migration’s mutual benefits -The talent and drive of our migrants mean one plus one can add up to three.
- But we have a severe shortage of housing
- Businesses would like to use new arrivals – whether permanent or temporary – to suppress wage growth which is a healthy outcome of a strong labour market.
Thus the 26 millionth Australian arrives at an interesting time – but it is always an “interesting” time.
There are challenges to overcome. Better policies are required, and braver politicians are needed to deliver them.
What we know is that the 26 millionth Australian will help solve those problems, as will the 27 millionth and the 28 millionth, and so on.
Links and Resources
Simon Kuestenmacher, Director of The Demographics Group
Some of our favourite quotes from the show:
“Over the decades, I’ve noticed how Australia has become increasingly multicultural.” – Michael Yardney
“There’s no doubt, we’re going to have a population boom. If we don’t get the infrastructure right, it may stop us from being the most liveable country in the world.” – Michael Yardney
“The problem in terms of wealth creation is it’s not what we know that’s holding many of us back. It’s what we think we know that isn’t so that’s holding us back.” – Michael Yardney
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