CANBERRA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) — Australia is a younger and smarter country as a result of immigration, the governor of the nation’s central bank has said.
Philip Lowe, governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), used a speech to business leaders to describe Australia’s strong population growth as a “basis for optimism about the future of our economy.”
His speech came just days after the population of Australia hit 25 million.
Australia’s population growth rate between 2005 and 2015 was 1.5 percent annually, significantly higher than that of India (1.2 percent) and the United States (0.7 percent).
According to the ABS, 62 percent of Australia’s rapid population growth is a result of the nation’s net overseas migration.
Lowe said that the current system had produced a younger, smarter Australia with the median age of 37 years, making Australia “one of the youngest countries among the advanced economies”.
“The movement to Australia of large numbers of young people over the past decade has changed our demographic profile in a positive way,” Lowe said.
“Migration has helped our economy adjust to large swings in the demand for labour, and helped address some particular skills shortages.”
Conservative politicians including former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and former Premier of New South Wales Bob Carr have called on the government to cut the number of migrants granted Australian visas to protect current residents’ quality of life.
Most of Australia’s population growth has been in Melbourne and Sydney, the two largest cities, where annual growth in the 12 months to June 2017 was 2.7 and 2.0 percent respectively.
Lowe acknowledged the growing pains being felt in those cities but said that housing investment was catching up with demand.
“The growth in the number of dwellings exceeded growth in the population over the past four years,” he said.
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