Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Belshaw's Best 5: GDP - Australia in its Region

GDP - Australia in its Region dates from November 2006. This was one of a number of posts intended to put Australia into a global and regional context. Given that this post is now almost three years old, how does it stack up?

I don't think that I would change the analysis at all because the drivers I talked about then have continued, as have the Australian policy responses. Growth in India and China has been somewhat faster than I expected, the US's position has been weakened by the Global Financial Crisis, Australia has performed well in economic terms.

Even given our good performance and our current membership of the G20, Australia's share of global GDP must continue to shrink. For the present, we remain a regional economic super power and a small but significant player in the global economy.

The changes to the composition of the Australian population that I talked about have continued apace, with immigration in fact being higher than I had expected. Mr Akya's suggestion that we should all pack up and return to Europe looks even sillier now than it did then.


In July the Australian Bureau of Statistics release migration data for the 2007-2008 financial year.

As a end June 2008, 5.5 million migrants from over 200 countries living in Australia were born overseas, over 25% of the population.

People born in the United Kingdom remained the largest group with 1.2 million, followed by those from New Zealand (495,000 people), China (314,000), India (239,000) and Italy (222,000).

However, over the last 10 years those born in the UK declined from 6.1% of Australia's population in 1998 to 5.4% in 2008. Likewise the Italian-born declined from 1.3% to 1.0%. In contrast, increases were recorded for people born in New Zealand (from 1.8% to 2.3%), China (from 0.7% to 1.5%) and India (from 0.5% to 1.1%).

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