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Australia allowed in a record 751,500 immigrants in 2023, new official figures show

Anthony Albanese released immigrant criminals

Australia allowed in a record 751,500 new immigrants in the 2023 calendar year, while the total population grew by 2.5% to 26.97 million, official statistics show.

New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday showed that net overseas migration was 547,300 in 2023, including 252,000 in the first half of the current financial year – meaning that Labor’s May budget forecast of 395,000 migrants in the 2023-24 financial year will prove to be too low.

The 751,500 immigrant arrivals figure is the largest in Australian history, and is an increase of 98,000 (15.0%) over 2022 when 619,600 people immigrated to Australia, also a record at that time.

The latest figure is also higher than the 737,000 arrivals in the last financial year, indicating that immigration is still increasing, rather than falling as promised by the government.

ABS head of demography Beidar Cho said: “Net overseas migration drove 84% of [the 2023] population growth, while natural increase accounted for the other 16%.”

Natural increase in 2023 was 103,900 people, 6.4% less than in 2022.

“This is made up of 287,100 births and 183,100 deaths registered in Australia,” the ABS said.

“Western Australia had the fastest growing population, up 3.3% from 2022. This was followed by Victoria, which grew by 2.8%, and Queensland, which grew by 2.6%. Tasmania saw the lowest growth, at 0.4%.”

Former Department of Immigration Deputy Secretary Abul Rizvi told ABC News there was “little to no chance” of Labor’s forecasts being correct, and predicted the actual number will be “well over 400,000”.

The figures come a day after the ABS released overseas arrivals statistics for April this year, showing 12,370 arrivals of permanent residents and 55,070 long-term overseas arrivals (those intending to stay for 12 months or more) – amounting to 16,840 a week, or 2,248 a day.

The ABS figures released this week did not break down the migration figures by country of origin.

Labor revealed in its 2024 Budget that more than 1 million new immigrants are expected to be allowed into Australia by mid-2028, including its forecast of 395,000 for this financial year.

That prediction was also revised upwards from December last year, when the government predicted the 2023-24 intake would be 375,000, up again from 315,000 forecast in last year’s budget.

According to the same Treasury papers, 260,000 are expected in the next financial year, 255,000 the year after that, and 235,000 in both 2026-27 and 2027-28.

Added to the 528,000 net overseas migration number last financial year, that would mean a total net intake of 1.9 million between 2022 and 2028, assuming the forecasts are accurate, which is appears increasingly unlikely.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton has promised to reduce Australia’s permanent migration intake from 185,000 to 140,000 for the next two years, before increasing it again to 150,000 in three years and 160,000 in the year.

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