Australia has experienced a decline in its overseas-born population for the first time since 2000, new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show, with COVID-19 being the main cause.
In 2021, 29.1 per cent of Australia’s estimated resident population was born overseas (7.5 million migrants), down from 29.8 per cent (7.7 million migrants) in 2020.
“This is the first decrease in the proportion of Australia’s overseas-born population since the year 2000,” the ABS report released on Tuesday read.
“The decrease reflected reduced overseas migration in and out of Australia, given the COVID-19 travel restrictions. The travel and migration intentions of many people changed due to the pandemic, including those migrating to work or study,” said Jenny Dobak, ABS head of migration statistics.
“In the first year of the pandemic there were fewer people born overseas migrating to Australia, as well as fewer people born in Australia departing to live overseas.”