A new survey reveals that many Australians are unsure or misinformed of the impact that immigration has on their population.
A poll carried out by the Australian Population Research Institute asked respondents four basic questions with multiple-choice answers. Only 2 per cent of respondents got all four questions right, while 12.6 per cent got all four wrong.
The questions were: Is it True or False that without immigration, Australia’s population would be shrinking? What is Australia’s population? What portion of the immigration intake are refugees? And is it True or False that Australia has one of the highest population growth rates in the developed world?
The best result was the present level of population, with just over half of respondents getting it right. The worst (19 per cent) was the fact Australia has one of the highest population rates in the world. Only Israel and Luxembourg in the OECD have higher rates.
The survey also found that 51 per cent of Australians do not want any population growth. A further 38 per cent said that, while they supported more growth, they did not want the country’s population to grow beyond 30 million.
When asked why Australia needs more people, the most common response was for economic growth (35 per cent), followed by ageing population (18 per cent) and to fill gaps in the workforce (14 per cent).
The top reason given by those who were against the idea of the country needing more people was due to the cities already being too crowded (21 per cent), followed by too much cultural diversity (18 per cent) and a reliance on bringing in skilled overseas workers as opposed to training domestic ones (16 per cent).
Unsurprisingly, a respondents’ birthplace makes a strong difference to attitudes to population growth, with people born overseas more likely to be pro-growth.