Net Migration and the Intergenerational Report

I was going to write a long post about the migration implications in the Intergenerational Report released today. But this would be largely pointless.

Instead, here is the chart from page 12 showing the projected migration rate as a proportion of population:

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 9.29.57 pm

The government assumes that by 2055, the net overseas migration rate will be 0.5 per cent of population, roughly equal to the average rate seen between 1973-2006.

If this strikes you as odd, it should. Migration policies have transformed radically since this time period. You can see this with reference to the period 2007-2018.

How anyone can make this assumption is beyond me.

Until you consider, in the words of the IGR:

  • “Lower levels of net overseas migration would lead to lower population growth rates over time and, therefore, lower economic growth.”
  • “Migrants, on average, are younger than the resident population. Migration reduces the average age of the population and slows the rate of population ageing.”
  • “Migrants tend to be younger, on average, than the resident population, and therefore increase overall labour force participation rates.”

Got it? Migrants = higher economic growth. Migrants = slower ageing. Migrants = higher labour participation.

I wonder why anyone would want to deliberately pick a lower rate of net migration?

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