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Immigration policies


The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is the government body responsible for assisting in the development and coordination of Australia's immigration policy, which is closely related to Australia's population policy.  Since 1945, more than seven million people have migrated to Australia, having a significant influence on society and the economy, with the population increasing from approximately 7 million to over 23.4 million in early 2014.  Check Australia’s latest population figure by clicking here.


The trigger for a large-scale migration program was the end of World War II and the need to act as a decent global citizen by taking refugees as well as the defence imperative of boosting the potential size of Australia's defence capacity.  However, over time, the government's motivation for continuing large scale immigration switched towards an economic imperative.  The development of the skilled migration program to complement the humanitarian and family programs has become a key component of government efforts to grow the economy on the supply side through boosts to Population, Participation and Productivity, commonly referred to as the 3Ps.


In a recent report, the DIAC noted the importance of immigration in the context of current government economic policy :


Today migration is helping to address the challenges of an ageing population by increasing workforce participation, adding to productivity, and boosting economic growth.

Source:  DIAC report 'Population flows:  Immigration aspects 2012' www.immi.gov.au



Test yourself Previous page

Has immigration gone too far [2018]