March 2019 | Most Australians say migrants are a strength not a burden: poll

Date: 15 March 2019

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Nearly two-thirds of Australians view immigrants as a national strength, the second biggest share among the world’s top migrant destination countries.

A survey of 18 nations which together host more than half the world’s immigrants found 64 per cent of Australians think migrants have made the country stronger because of their work and talents. Only Canada had a higher share at 68 per cent, the survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre shows.

In Australia, 31 per cent viewed migrants as a burden to the country because they “take our jobs and social benefits” – the equal third lowest share out of the 18 nations included in the study.

In the world’s six largest migrant receiving countries - US, Germany, UK, France, Canada and Australia – a majority viewed immigrants as a strength rather than a burden. Each of those countries hosted more than 7 million immigrants in 2017.

Macquarie University demographer, Professor Nick Parr, said Australia’s strong emphasis on skilled migration, and the economic benefits that can bring, had contributed to favourable views about migration here.