COVID-19: Australia’s great exodus revealed

COVID-19: Australia’s great exodus revealed, by Adam Creighton.

The coronavirus is driving the biggest population decline in Australian history, with 300,000 tourists, temporary workers and students already departing this year in an exodus that threatens to deepen a consumer spending slump and hit the housing market. …

Analysis by former senior ­Immigration Department official Abul Rizvi estimates that the number of temporary visa holders could drop to 1.82 million from more than 2.4 million at the start of the year. “We could be on the verge of the biggest percentage and absolute decline in our population since 1788, more than during the Great Depression or when we sent troops to the Somme,” Mr Rizvi said. …

Australia’s population grew by 371,000, or 1.5 per cent, to 25.46 million over the year to last September, of which 63 per cent was due to net overseas migration. ….

In the most recent budget, the government pencilled in net overseas migration of 271,000 this year, up from 259,600 in 2018. More than 800,000 net new immigrants were forecast over the next three years, the budget papers say.

hat-tip Stephen Neil