Australians more positive on migrant rates

Rebecca Gredley
(Australian Associated Press)


Fewer Australians believe the number of migrants moving to our shores is too high, compared to attitudes on immigration a year ago.

The latest Lowy Institute poll indicates that fewer than half (47 per cent) think the number of migrants coming to Australia each year is too high.

The result, from the institute’s survey on Australian attitudes to international events released on Wednesday, is seven per cent lower than last year.

However, it’s a 10 point increase compared to the survey results from 2014.

Nearly two-thirds say immigrants strengthen Australia because of their hard work and talents, down seven points from three years ago.

But 40 per cent say immigrants take jobs away from other Australians’, which is a five point increase from 2016.

About 70 per cent of the nation think Australian cities are already too crowded, while slightly less agree that immigration has an overall positive impact on the economy.

But the population is split on whether immigrants are a burden (48 per cent) or not (50 per cent) on the welfare system.

Younger Australians hold more positive views towards immigration, with just 20 per cent of 18 to 29-year-olds believing the total number of migrants each year is too high.

This is in comparison to 53 per cent of those over 30.

Nearly 60 per cent of Australians over 45 think immigrants are a burden on the welfare system, compared to 35 per cent of 18 to 45-year-olds.

Four-in-10 believe Australia’s border protection policies make no difference to its international reputation, while 28 per cent say such policies hurt the nation’s international standing.

But more Australians – 30 per cent – say the nation’s border protection policies help its international reputation.


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