The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports that Australia’s population reached 23 million people in April 2013, due in large part to Australian immigration. Australia’s soaring population is increasing by around 1,028 people each day from births inside the country and also because of immigration to Australia.
Every 120 seconds (on average), a baby is born in Australia, while every 140 seconds (on average), Australian immigration contributes one new resident to Australia’s diverse population.
By the year 2050, experts forecast that Australia’s population will reach approximately 40 million people, boosted by sustained immigration to Australia. So many foreign nationals have been issued a Permanent Resident Visa to Australia that over 25% of all Australian residents were born overseas, making this one of the most multicultural countries on Earth!
Australia’s annual birth rate has been lower than its replacement rate (i.e., births vs. deaths) for around 40 years, mostly because there is a low Australian fertility rate (an average of 1.88 babies born per woman in Australia, as of 2013). It is not uncommon for developed/industrialized countries (such as Australia, Canada, Japan and the USA) to have low fertility rates for various reasons, but one consequence of a low birth rate (and a population that is aging) is the need to have enough workers to keep the economy expanding, pay taxes, and contribute in other ways to maintaining the system.
Thus, in countries like Australia which have growing economies, increasing numbers of workers retiring and a low birth rate, immigration has become an important method for obtaining skilled workers to fill different high-demand job openings. For example, around 200,000 skilled foreign workers are granted a Permanent Resident Visa to Australia every year.