Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Who'd want to leave NSW? Hordes. NSW and SA suffer net emigration.


Locals are fleeing NSW at the rate of 50 packed cars per day with the latest figures showing NSW in league with South Australia as the only state to experience significant net interstate emigration.

The official figures show Queensland the destination of choice for NSW departees, taking in half, followed by Victoria taking one quarter and Western Australia one fifth.

The NSW population is growing at the third-slowest rate in the nation. Our birth rate is the second-slowest, ahead of only Victoria’s. Our proud boast of being biggest beneficiary of net overseas migration is no longer true, Victoria overtook us in June 2010.

Only in raw migration numbers does NSW remain an Australian leader, taking in 36,400 overseas arrivals in the September quarter, well above Victoria’s 28,200. But because so many more Australians leave NSW for overseas than leave Victoria, its new migration intake is now bigger.

The picture that emerges from the Australian Bureau of Statistics demographic statistics is of a state Australians move to and leave. Some 19,000 Australians moved to NSW between the June and September quarters as 21,000 left. By contrast Queensland, which also had 19,000 arrivals, suffered only 9000 departures.

Western Australia is by far Australia’s fastest growing state, boosting its population at an annualised rate of 2.2 per cent, followed by Queensland at 1.6 per cent and Victoria at 1.5 per cent. NSW is in forth place at 1.2 per cent, beating only South Australia and Tasmania...

The bulk of Western Australia's population growth comes from overseas A net 6900 migrants moved to Western Australia in the September quarter, and only 1200 Australians.

Australia’s annual population growth rate of 1.57 per cent is the slowest for four years, well down on the long-term high of 2.16 per cent reached at the tail end of the previous mining boom. Net immigration totaled just 185,800 in the year to September, close to the weakest for four years and down 40 per cent on the peak.

“It appears there are both less people willing to move to Australia and more are voting with their feet and moving offshore,” said Commonwealth Bank senior economist Michael Workman. “If the trend continues annual net migration could be headed under 150,000. The government might seek to turn the slide around by boosting skilled migration.”

The slide in population growth comes as the population minister Tony Burke prepares to release a report on a sustainable population strategy for Australia, commissioned at a time when growth was much faster. Both sides of politics eschewed talk of a “big Australia” during the election campaign and in the leadup to it Mr Bourke was briefly titled Minister for Sustainable Population.

In a separate report released this morning (WED) the business advisory firm PKF warns that population growth is slowing as the need for workers is exploding.

PKF national director Matthew Field, says the slowdown means “workers will become harder to find putting pressure on wages, inflation and eventually interest rates as smaller businesses struggle to compete for workers with arger employers”.

The report says the downswing will be most felt in the working age population growth as baby boomers retire, marking the start of a slowdown that could last a generation.

Published in today's SMH

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