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CDU EXPERT: Unless cost of living balances out, Australia will host far fewer skilled migrants, expert says

Charles Darwin University 2 mins read

16 June 2023

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that Australia’s population grew at its fastest rate in more than 13 years in 2022 in part due to a post-pandemic migration boom. According to CDU migration expert Dr Devaki Monani, skilled migrants’ country of origin will be defined by economics.  

Dr Devaki Monani, College of Health and Human Services, Charles Darwin University

Contact details: +61 8 8946 6529 or email us at to arrange an interview.

The following quotes can be attributed to Charles Darwin University’s College of Health and Human Services Dr Devaki Monani:

“If you examine Australia’s skilled migration policy, it is clearly targeted to attracting 22-35 year old overseas born young people. Additionally in the last five years it has targeted regional skilled migrant aspirants in the same age group.”

“This is because our local population is ageing rapidly, there is also a decline in local population, similar to all western nations as more women entered the workforce in developed countries, they decided to prioritise their careers over child- bearing.”

“This meant that those women who had thriving careers in the 1980s are well over 70 with a much smaller family unit. Ultimately, the choice for many western developed countries was to look towards developing nations to contribute to local productivity.” 

“In the post covid context, this is a slightly tricky situation to predict. The main rationale is ‘inflation’, the uptake of the Skilled migration pathway usually occurs through international student degree completions. With the rising costs of international study opportunities and increased local competition for jobs, we will see a reluctance in overseas born student enrolment, this has only to do with cost of living.”

“For example, wealthy students from China are likely to arrive in Australia, however those from poorer economies such as Bangladesh, Nepal may find it trickier to demonstrate the required financial capital to arrive in Australia. Unless our cost-of-living balances out, we will host far fewer migrants from the Skilled migration pathway compared to a decade ago.

“Australia has in place a robust regional skilled migration policy, this means if you choose to undertake studies and reside in a regional and remote town anywhere in Australia, the potential of gaining permanent residency is fast tracked and guaranteed.”

Contact details:

Emily Bostock
Acting Research Communications Officer

T: +61 8 8946 6529
M: 0432 417 518

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