Heading north, staying north? The increasing importance of international migrants to northern and remote Australia

A Migration and Border Policy Project Working Paper

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticleResearch

    Abstract

    Since 2013, northern Australia has experienced a large downturn in its population growth rate, and negative growth in some areas. This followed the highs of the mining boom and was due to net losses of residents to southern regions. Under these circumstances, positive contributions of migrants to population, jobs, and communities have become increasingly important. Existing studies show that northern and remote regions of Australia fare poorly at attracting and retaining international migrants. However, an important consideration in evaluating the success of policies and initiatives for attracting and retaining migrants to these regions is how these are assessed and measured. For many communities across the north, permanent retention of a handful of skilled migrants and their families can significantly improve demographic and economic trajectories. Evaluations on the success of schemes at macro-region levels may miss nuanced and significant population impacts at the local level. This working paper presents three case examples from the Northern Territory demonstrating the potential for overseas migration to alter demographic, economic, and social pathways for northern and remote communities, and thus the broader region.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages1-19
    Number of pages19
    No.7
    Specialist publicationLowy Institute for International Policy Migration and Border Policy Project Working Paper
    PublisherLowy Institute for International Policy
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2018

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    economics
    population growth
    trajectory
    border
    policy
    project
    loss
    evaluation
    family

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Since 2013, northern Australia has experienced a large downturn in its population growth rate, and negative growth in some areas. This followed the highs of the mining boom and was due to net losses of residents to southern regions. Under these circumstances, positive contributions of migrants to population, jobs, and communities have become increasingly important. Existing studies show that northern and remote regions of Australia fare poorly at attracting and retaining international migrants. However, an important consideration in evaluating the success of policies and initiatives for attracting and retaining migrants to these regions is how these are assessed and measured. For many communities across the north, permanent retention of a handful of skilled migrants and their families can significantly improve demographic and economic trajectories. Evaluations on the success of schemes at macro-region levels may miss nuanced and significant population impacts at the local level. This working paper presents three case examples from the Northern Territory demonstrating the potential for overseas migration to alter demographic, economic, and social pathways for northern and remote communities, and thus the broader region.",
    keywords = "International Migration, Northern Australia, Remote areas, Remote health, Remote communities",
    author = "Andrew Taylor",
    note = "This working paper series is part of the Lowy Institute’s Migration and Border Policy Project, which aims to produce independent research and analysis on the challenges and opportunities raised by the movement of people and goods across Australia’s borders. The Project is supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection.",
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    AB - Since 2013, northern Australia has experienced a large downturn in its population growth rate, and negative growth in some areas. This followed the highs of the mining boom and was due to net losses of residents to southern regions. Under these circumstances, positive contributions of migrants to population, jobs, and communities have become increasingly important. Existing studies show that northern and remote regions of Australia fare poorly at attracting and retaining international migrants. However, an important consideration in evaluating the success of policies and initiatives for attracting and retaining migrants to these regions is how these are assessed and measured. For many communities across the north, permanent retention of a handful of skilled migrants and their families can significantly improve demographic and economic trajectories. Evaluations on the success of schemes at macro-region levels may miss nuanced and significant population impacts at the local level. This working paper presents three case examples from the Northern Territory demonstrating the potential for overseas migration to alter demographic, economic, and social pathways for northern and remote communities, and thus the broader region.

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