The world today as we know it is shrinking. Technology not only brings us closer to one another, but instantly makes everything accessible to people and information across the seven seas.
In the social age, not only are diversity and inter-cultural practices a growing aspect, they are a reality almost no country can escape from. This is an unavoidable truth if progress and growth are on a countries agenda. Having a ranging ratio of migrants from every possible country, Australia is a melting pot of race, cultures and festivals. But there is room to grow!
To give you an idea in a snapshot, here are some statistics:
- China, UK, Malaysia, India, England, New Zealand, Philippines, Italy and Pakistan are the top countries from which Australia receives migrants and visitors.
- Most of the Migrants settle down mostly in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland or South Australia.
- The most densely populated migrant suburbs are Hurtsville, Reservoir and St. Albans in Victoria, Auburn in New South Wales and Melbourne. A few other names that come to mind are Cities of Parramatta, Blacktown, Sydney, Fairfield and Canterbury.
With all this data in mind, the question arises, ‘Migration in Australia: Boon or Bane?’. Below is a gist of the general pros and cons of migration:
- Job vacancies and skills gaps can be filled
- Economic growth can be sustained
- Services to an ageing population can be maintained when there are insufficient young people locally
- The pension gap can be filled by the contributions of new young workers and they also pay taxes
- Immigrants bring energy and innovation
- Host countries are enriched by cultural diversity
- Failing schools (and those with falling numbers) can be transformed
- Depression of wages may occur but this seems to be temporary
- Having workers willing to work for relatively low pay may allow employers to ignore productivity, training and innovation
- Migrants may be exploited
- Increases in population can put pressure on public services
- Unemployment may rise if there are unrestricted numbers of mirgants
- There may be integration difficulties and friction with local people
- Large movements of people lead to more security monitoring
- Ease of movement may facilitate organised crime and people trafficking
One major pro of migration is the sheer fact that Australia has an extremely low population density (the number of people per kilometer/mile).
To put things into perspective, China has a population density of over 18,000 people per square kilometer. India has a density population of around 350 people per square kilometer. And…Australia comes in at about 3 people per square kilometer.
This indicates that Australia has a potential for growth and influx of residents to be a part of the working economy. Skilled individuals, businesses and professionals adding to the country will not only create more opportunity but, create more output of capital and services which in turn would lead to an attraction for newer residents and tourists.
With all the possibility of growth and increasing migrant population, safety does become an issue which cannot be ignored. Not only are strict migration policies of prime importance but complete information about each migrant becomes mandate for personal, personnel and national safety.
But with the larger picture in mind, migration does seem to be a boon for a continent such as Australia for the moment and for years to come.
It can be safely said that Australia has a lot more to share, accommodate and change in the coming years, to ensure that it truly becomes a culturally diverse Nation!
*Above data has been sourced from: The Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Border Protection | www.abs.gov.au/socialtrends | www.embraceni.org/migration/the-pros-and-cons-of-migration/