THE NUMBER OF IMMIGRANTS IN AUSTRALIA 7
Thenumber of immigrants in Australia is an issue for economy &population ageing
Immigrationin Australia is an issue for economy & population ageing
Australiapride itself as the major host of immigrants in the whole world. Bydefinition, Immigrants are the people who move and settle in anothercountry or region which is not their native land. The white‘Australia policy’ hampered the immigration into the Australiafrom individuals who were not from European countries until 1970s. Infact, after second world way, immigrants came from Europeancountries, such as, Ireland and United Kingdom. According to theDepartment of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs(DIMIA, 2005), there is a cultural mix in Australia from theimmigrants over the last five years.
Indeed,between 2001-2002, the immigrants’ arrival have originated fromover 150 countries ranging from the United Kingdom (9.8 per cent),South Africa (6.4 per cent), China (7.5 percent), New Zealand (17.6percent), Indonesia (4.7 per cent) and India (5.7 percent). Burnley(2003) and Lee (2000) aver that increased immigration has had anadverse economic and social impact. However, Econtech (2006) confirmsthat immigrants have contributed positively in improving thedevelopment and economic performance of the Australia. In essence,immigration has its negative impact, but they do not outweigh thepositive contribution they bring into the country. Therefore, inAustralia, more immigrants are required to prevent the agingpopulation and continue with the economic milestones.
Thereis a lingering question on the number of immigrants who should beallowed into the Australia and their economic impact. The attentionhas been on the negative impact the immigrants bring in the economy.Burney (2003) confirms that there is no relationship between theeconomic development and the size of the population because economicexpansion cannot be created by population explosion. On the otherhand, Econtech (2006) explains that immigrants bring resources andskills into the country, and this develops the economy. In addition,ass the population of immigrants in Australia increases thelikelihood of getting skilled migrants also increases. Hence, theyplay a positive role in developing the economy.
Theimmigration policy focuses on skills as a basic entry to the country.As a result, 14000 skilled immigrants moved to Australia between theyear 2000-2006 which is around 64%. In addition, there were specialeligibility migration visas for doctors and engineers whichrepresented 0.3 % (Productivity Commission, 2006). Similarly,according to Economic Impacts of Migration and Population Growth2006, released by the Productivity Commission, it was evident thatthe Australian society and the economy have been influenced bymigration. However, population growth can be associated with poorlabour conditions.
Thelevel of English language skills affects Financial markets becausewhen those skills are undeveloped, they force immigrants into smallenterprises and seek employment opportunities (Lee, 2000). In otherinstances, immigrants who came from Africa went to Australia. Theyhad different cultures, languages and religion which made them proneto direct and indirect discrimination during the job search and thepursuit of education (Innes, 2010).
Accordingto Hugo (2004), the outcome of labour is not affected by immigrationis conflicting. In fact, the argument is based on a false premisethat states that there is no relationship between migrants and theemployment. Chiefly, training of languages to the immigrants is a keypillar in the integration of immigrants in Australia, which assist inthe development of the labour market. The country offersinterpretation and translation services which support the immigrantin their daily life.
Ingeneral, immigrants have a positive impact on the Australianpopulation and provides youth employment. Baker and Wooden (1992)highlight that there are various ways that immigrants use whenrelocating to Australia, some use humanitarian migrant programs whileothers use illegal ways. The government plays a pivotal role tointegrate the immigrants into the society. Some migrants who areskilled prefer temporary visas as employees under contract or asstudents. Later, they apply for citizenship, and they are easilygranted because their level of education is expected to contributepositively to the labour market. Eventually, such immigrants willreduce the ageing problem in Australia when it comes to retirement(Young, 2004).
Nevertheless,many people disagree that the problem of population aging can beeliminated by supporting immigrants. In fact, they argue that theproblem with ageing population requires a holistic approachregardless of the immigration level. If the immigrants will delayageing by 30 years, what will happen when the migrants become elderlyand ill. Hence, caring for them will bring other costs to the state.Uniquely, the potential beneficiaries of the immigration are theimmigrants alone since the natives do benefit from it (Sheehan,2010). Moreover, due to immigration, the productivity growth percapita reduces which is a key factor in sustainable growth, anddemand for food transportation increases. In addition, immigrationincreases traffic congestion in the cities and escalatesenvironmental degradation due to greenhouse emissions.
Overthe years, Australia has experienced a reduced number of youngpeople. Initially, the country was youthful as stated by Clare andTulpule (1994) in Australia’s Demographic Challenges. Notably, 31%of the Australian population was aged 15 years and below in 1970.However, this population dropped drastically by 22% by the year 2002.On the contrary, the percentage of individuals aged 65 and above hasincreased by 13 % between the year 1970 and 2002. By and large, thefertility rate has been in decline from 3.55 to 1.73 within a periodof 40 years since 1961 (Ingram, 2003). Significantly, Young (2004)avers that if immigration is targeted correctly, it will provide ananswer to the problem of ageing the population and support theanticipated diminishing medical care providers. Expressively,McDonald (2002) supports the immigration policies and believes thatthey should target young immigrants who would participate in thedevelopment of the economy, and the solve the ageing dilemma inAustralia.
Inconclusion, immigration in Australia may have impacted negatively tothe native society, however, the economic benefits of immigrationoutweigh the social impact since it provides economic growth throughthe skilled workers. Language barrier should not be an issue of theimmigrants in Australia because as far as immigrants have therequired skills to propel the economy forward, the language skillscan be acquired within a short period. Certainly, immigrants,especially the young generation will alleviate the impact of ageingin the economy and society at large. Therefore, immigration policiesshould be enhanced to continue the positive impact on the economy andan ageing population.
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