• Hannah Phillips

The Economics of Immigration

Last week the Treasury and the Department of Home Affairs released a working paper entitled ‘Shaping the Nation – Population Growth and Immigration over Time’.

In a nutshell the paper says the population is increasing but not as rapidly as in the 1960s and 70s.

The difference is that, in the current circumstances, population growth is predominantly due to immigration.

As the paper acknowledges, this is not without costs and the theme of the paper is where these costs should fall.

On balance, the paper argues, immigration is good for the economy.

On the other hand the paper is alive to the downsides of rapidly increasing immigration, in particular the cost of retrofitting infrastructure that was installed decades ago and which is now inadequate for current and future population needs.