A record number of Chinese visitors to Australia is changing our demographic landscape
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released its Overseas Arrivals and Departures data for the month of August 2014.
The number of short-term departures continues to comfortably outstrip short-term visitors.
Looking at where visitors to Australian shores hail from, it is notable that the number of visitors from China is continuing to boom to unprecedented levels, approach 800,000 in the year to August 2014.
Depending on who you believe, arguably this could equate to strong demand for apartments in Sydney and Melbourne (indirectly, yes it probably will).
What is the certainly the case is that this is the pre-cursor to a significant and sustained increase in long-term migrants from the region which will be a trend that plays out over the coming decades.
Long-term migration easing back
The trend in long-term arrivals continues to ease back, now around 8 percent below its peak.
This ties in neatly with what we forecast for 2014 population growth by state here.
When netted off against long-term departures, net long-term migration has now eased back to around 346,000 on a rolling annual basis, which is some what below the previous cyclical peaks of around 410,000 to 415,000.
Origin of settlers
Settlers into Australia are now overwhelmingly arriving from Asia. While this has actually been the case for decades, the gap between Asian settlers and “the rest” has widened to become a gulf.
Note the decline in settlers from Oceania since 2012 as New Zealanders are turning to different life choices.
Drilling into the regional level the predominance of settlers from Southern & Central Asia is now clearly marked.
Within the next few months it will become apparent that the major countries of origin of settlers will be China and India, with Brits and Kiwis playing a decreasingly significant role.
In short, there is nothing here which causes us to change our forecasts by state for 2014 population.
What is notable is the increasing influence of Chinese and to a lesser extent visitors and migrants on Australian demographics.