More than two thirds of Australians do not think Australia needs more people, according to an Australian National University poll (ANUPoll) conducted in late 2018.
The ANUPoll asked ‘Do you think Australia needs more people?’ Only 30.4 per cent answered ‘yes’ to this question – a decline of about 15 per cent since a similar question was asked in an ANUPoll conducted in 2010.
Lead researcher, Associate Professor Nicholas Biddle, said the reasons most commonly given for not wanting to increase Australia’s population were crowded cities, the cost of housing and support for training Australians rather than importing skilled people from overseas.
“Nearly nine out of 10 people nominated the cost of housing being too high as a reason for not increasing Australia’s population, while 84 per cent of people said that cities are too crowded and there is too much traffic,” said Biddle. “People also expressed concerns about the impact of population growth on the environment.”
The reason for not supporting population growth with the lowest level of agreement was ‘we have too much cultural diversity already’.
“Indeed, there were more people who said that more cultural diversity was a reason for increasing Australia’s population than those who listed too much cultural diversity as a reason against population growth,” said Biddle.
“Most people are now supportive of cultural diversity as a by-product of population growth. On the other hand, geopolitics, defence and population pressures overseas are less likely to factor into someone’s decision than they might have in the past. Australians are more likely to support population growth if it increases our skills base, mitigates the impacts of an ageing population and increase our economic prosperity,” he added.
The ANUPoll surveyed 2,167 Australians between 19th November and 3rd December 2018.
Article published 16th January 2019