Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The growth in migration from Australia

I had to laugh. Only in Australia, or perhaps New Zealand in reverse, could a story on migration from Australia get this opening line:

AUSTRALIA'S best and brightest are leaving the country in record numbers and, worst of all, many are heading for New Zealand.

Few people outside this area understand the sibling rivalry between these two countries!

The cause of the story was the release of the latest statistics showing record migration from Australia. I have tried to find the source data, but so far without success. Those who are interested can find news reports here and here, the second already cited.

I have written before about the growing significance of Australian emigration. As it happened, the latest data coincided with a series I have started on another blog - see Australia's latest population statistics 2 - the macro numbers.

I am writing the series on the New England blog because I am in the process of testing some of my earlier thinking in light of later numbers. However, the work has broader implications.

I will try to write a fuller post. However, for the present I simply note that the emigration statistics simply fit with one of my broader themes, the way in which we are presently re-shaping the structure of the Australian population.


Anonymous said...

Hello Jim

No comments, so let me be the first to reverse that earlier wry comment which really said it all about our sibling rivalries:

"This will raise the IQ of both countries".

More simply put - may we both prosper, in these troubling times.


Jim Belshaw said...

Hi KVD, amen!

Anonymous said...


could it be that the "best and the brightest" receive better compensation in NZ?

As I remember from one of your posts Australia is importing "professionals" from ASEAN countries.

As one of my readers stated, illegal immigrants are not "stealing" jobs; customers are not willing to pay for higher quality goods produced by experienced professionals.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi David. I have to be careful about my comments on the stats because I have not analysed them properly. Traditionally, professionals in New Zealand are paid less,leading to a drain to Australia. The loss of NZ people to Australia is in fact an issue in the current NZ election campaign.

Australian demographer Bob Birrell from Monash commented that the sheer size of our migration program means that we still have a distinct net gain on the skills side.

There are two distinct groups among those going, locally born and then overseas born. There appear to be different dynamics between the two: anecdotally, a lot of people who train in Australia and then get permanent residence return to their home countries.

This business of always going for the cheaper regardless of quality is a real issue. Just at the moment, our two big retailers have a huge push on their home brands. this is nearly all imported product. I try to buy Australian produce because I trust it; sometimes a home brand is the only choice.