WORK READY: Migrants settling in rural areas are reversing the trend of population drift and creating economic booms.
WORK READY: Migrants settling in rural areas are reversing the trend of population drift and creating economic booms. Christine Rossouw

Migration hailed as economic saviour of the bush

AT a time when international migration is a hot topic of national discussion, Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has pulled together a snapshot which upsets a lot of theories.

RAI found higher rates of population growth in our big cities are not driven by Australians moving from the regions to the city.

It's because international migration benefits cities with fewer choosing to live in the regions and this is slowing population growth and economic development in small towns.

Chief executive Jack Archer said this is what drives the differential between urban and regional growth.

"There are plenty of opportunities to do more to bring a larger share of migrants to regions to support their development and help manage the growth pressures on our cities,” he said.

"Overall the migration of Australians is generally in balance with young people leaving regions for the city and working age and older people moving out.

"If more international migrants settled in regional Australia the population would grow at the same pace or even faster than the capital cities.

"Migrants make their most important contribution in small rural towns.”



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