Research Briefing | Jun 18, 2021

Australia | Population update: migration recovery delayed

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With the border closed until mid-2022, suppressed net overseas migration will limit Australia’s population growth to only 48,200 people in FY2021. It is expected to take until FY2024 to return to trend, near 375,600 people per annum.

Australia’s population outlook hinges on a fragile border reopening timeline, with further delays a downside risk to the outlook. When the border does reopen and stored demand to migrate to Australia can be realised, risk skews to the upside

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  • Following the Federal Government’s mid-2022 border reopening target, it is expected to take until Q1 2023 for NOM to return to its pre-pandemic base.
  • The pandemic has triggered some pronounced shifts in where people want to live, impacting the geographic distribution of population growth.
  • A series of downside risks remain in play, concentrated around the timing of the border reopening. Further outbreaks, the emergence of new vaccine resilient COVID19 strains, and administrative issues could all push back the return to normalcy. 
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