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Australias regional migration: a selective success story

  • Year: 2012
  • Author: Nick Parr; Simon Massey
  • Journal Name: Conversation
  • Country: Australia

Since 1995, there has been a concerted government policy push encouraging new migrants to settle away from the major cities. There are some very good reasons to direct new arrivals away from cities, such as ongoing concerns about the impact of rapid population growth on congestion and the environment. But is channeling even more migrants into the local economies of regional and rural Australia a justifiable policy? Are there sufficient economic opportunities to support larger numbers of migrants? Our main findings are that the migrant population as a whole in regional and rural Australia is attaining stronger economic outcomes than in the past, and has closed the gap to reach broadly similar levels to the Australia-born populations of these regions for labour force participation rates, unemployment rates, median incomes, and the percentage of the employed in highly-skilled jobs.

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