A majority of Australians favor immigration despite population issues

December 04, 2018
There were intensified concerns in Australia over population growth, but despite it, Australians see benefits in immigration. This was the finding of an Annual National Survey of the public opinion, on immigration and population issues.

The 2018 Mapping Social Cohesion survey, of the Scanlon Foundation, observes that many Australians see a benefit in immigration. The survey is based on the views of 1,500 randomly selected Australians. 52 percent Australians feel that the present intake of migrants is just right or low.  43 percent feel that the intake of migrants is too high.

Though there are a few concerns about population management, 82 percent taking up the survey, believe that immigrants improve the society, and also bring new ideas and culture. Eighty percent agreed that immigrants were good for the economy.

During the course of these surveys, the population of Australia has increased to 25 million in August 2018, from 19.9 million in 2006. It will reach 30 million by 2033, as per the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

A majority of Australians favor immigration despite population issues

Overcrowding and cost of housing 

The survey also found that there was a great community concern, on the issue of lack of government planning, overcrowding and house prices. Respondents were concerned, regarding the impact of immigration on the overcrowding of cities, or on house prices as well as on the inadequate government management of population growth.

The immigration intake cap since 2012-13 is set at 190,000. Additionally, the real intake nearly met the cap, but in 2017-18 the intake was just 163,000 permanent arrivals, in both skilled and family visas.

Focus on Multiculturalism 

Besides, there is a divided opinion regarding multiculturalism being good for Australia. Some people, feel that multiculturalism is a disaster, but many 83 to 86 percent,  also feel that multiculturalism is good.

Most respondents, 54 percent feel that migrants need to change their behaviour pattern and be more like Australians. 37 percent feel that ethnic minorities need to receive governmental assistance for maintaining their customs. The results offer a positive picture of society's understanding regarding multiculturalism.

The issue of Discrimination 

Only one in five taking the survey, say regarding experiencing discrimination for their religion, skin color or ethnicity.  There are organizations to help youth from the disadvantaged sections to be engaged in their communities.

23 percent respondents of the survey had a negative view towards Muslims. Such views are based on religion and race and are also a part of the global narrative.   These reflect fear and little understanding of faith in the modern context.

Attitudes on parliament

There are notable changes in the attitudes of respondents towards members of the federal parliament. Moreover, there is an important drop in support for federal parliamentarians in the last decade. Finally, only 30 percent trust the Canberra politicians to do the right thing for the countrymen.

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