This will be a very long article probably the only one of it’s kind to be published on this website.
I would firstly like to give some background to the post you’re about to read. This article wasn’t intended to be posted as an article, it was written and drafted as an anonymous study of the Australian immigration scene in the 21st century. Although it’s not terribly comprehensive it’s useful in as much as it provides the key background information needed to comprehend the Australian scene. What you’re reading is the incomplete 4th draft which will never be finished for reasons that aren’t important. Perhaps in the future a new report will be created and finished, but not this time. I do hope you enjoy it as it did take over a year to complete. This draft was compiled in June of 2018 and Updated in July of 2019. I will update it with information that comes my way over time.
(Originally Published on the April 15th, 2019)
This report analyzes research on the economic and social impacts of immigration to Australia. It argues that much of the costs of immigration attenuate the gains, particularly housing and social cohesion. Changes to immigration policy are required to avoid the outcome of similar countries with a problematic immigration system; such as the United States.
Table of Contents
Background Of Immigrants in Australia
Labor Market Impact
Impact on Youth Workers
The Environmental Impact
The Housing, Services, and Transport Impact
Impact on Housing
Impact on Services
Impact on Transport
The Social Impact
ESB and NESB Migrants
The Fiscal Impact
The topic of Immigration is mainly restricted to the United States, with much of the research on the subject coming from there, as opposed to other places in the west with high levels immigration like Australia. One of the reasons for this could be that Australia has had much more rigorous immigration system than the United States for the past seventy years. Australia has in place a point system that immigrants must meet the standards for in order to pass. These standards come with the benefits of higher quality immigrants than those who immigrate to the United States. Immigrants in Australia earn five-thousand dollars more on average than natives,  while in contrast immigrants to the U.S. earn about five-thousand dollars less than natives. Most of Australia’s immigrants have education of a bachelor’s degree or higher, while in America 28 percent of adult Immigrants have not completed high school, compared to 8 percent of natives. The percentage of those with at least a bachelor’s is also lower than natives. Australia’s batch of immigrants with high skills grants them the ability of avoiding some of the problems associated with low skill immigration that America faces today, such as child poverty and homelessness. However, they are still affected by some unavoidable costs of Immigration, such as the struggle of assimilation, attempting to blend different cultures, and the laws of supply and demand (as it pertains to the labor market). Examining the flaws within the current system, and what these problems produce, will aid us in understanding much needed changes within Australia’s immigration system.
Background of Immigrants in Australia
Australia’s immigrants come mainly from North Western Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. In 2014, twenty-four percent of all Australia’s immigrants came from England and New Zealand. China, India, and the Philippines altogether made up sixteen percent of all immigrants. Though the majority of Australia’s immigrants may be from countries of Anglo origin, the top ten countries Australia receives immigrants from has changed dramatically since the 1980’s. Up until the seventies, Australia had European only immigration policies, and greatly restricted non-English speaking migration. A change in this policy has caused the top ten countries of immigrants in Australia to go from all European, to having in 2011 names like China, Vietnam, and Malaysia on the list.
The population of immigrants from India and China has increased by nearly 200,000 for each group since 1981. There are different ways immigrants come to Australia through a variety of immigration programs, these programs can be put into three categories: Skill, Family, and Humanitarian. Immigrants from the skill program are most likely to come from South-Central Asia and Northwest Europe; Humanitarian migrants are from North and Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East. Lastly, migrants who come to Australia because of family connections with Australian citizens are mostly from South and North East Asia.
Immigrants in Australia come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and as one will see presented throughout this analysis, some immigrant groups act in different ways, and have different impacts. Although, there are some things all immigrants have effects on, regardless of their background.
Labor Market Impact
Australia has had stagnating wages for the better part of a decade now, and one of the causes could be immigration. Back in 2016 the Commission issued a report in which they reviewed and conducted research pertaining to the economic and fiscal impacts of immigration to Australia. The report had some very interesting findings, with the effects to the overall population being either insignificant (negative or positive) or inconclusive. However, effects become clearer when certain parts of the population are examined. It is a common practice in labor market economics to distinguish between groups of workers by education level. It’d be nonsensical to measure the effects of high school educated immigrants on the labor market outcomes of those with a bachelor’s degree, since these two groups aren’t competing for the same jobs. The commission starts its examination of labor market impacts by examining previous studies done on immigration both internationally and solely within Australia. The Studies cited show different impacts on the native population, the first by researcher Temesgen Kifle, found that immigration had a negative effect on low skill workers but a positive effect on high skill workers, this is because around 40% of employed highly qualified immigrants from non-OECD countries work in low-and medium-skilled jobs, implying that these employees are overqualified. These immigrants compete directly with low and medium skilled natives, and as a result their wages decrease. The second study done in 2011 by Noel Gatson and Douglas R. Nelson concluded that they found positive impacts on native earnings as a whole, but certain natives (those with certificates or diplomas) were negatively affected. A reason for this negative effect is that migrants to Australia are generally university educated, so they compete directly with natives who hold similar qualifications. The final two studies cited find positive effects of immigration on employment and wages for workers in aggregate, saying “Immigration had no adverse effects on regional unemployment rates, median incomes, or crime levels” and “There [is] no causal relationship between immigration and unemployment.” However, the studies have problems. One study uses a survey that does not count newer immigrants, questioning its validity. The other counting impact in aggregate, making certain impacts for different skill groups indiscernible. The Authors of the report attempt to fill this information gap by conducting their own research, they use an immigration model from America’s leading economist on immigration, George J Borjas,  which combines wage data from the Housing, Income, and Labor Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA) and from the Australian Census. The authors find that immigrants flow into skill groups with the highest earnings and the lowest unemployment, which is consistent with the goal of Australia’s Immigration system. However, not all goals of the system are being met. In fact, there’s considerable evidence showing that skilled migrants are flowing into oversupplied occupations; this is a result of certain standards in Australia’s migrant admission being abolished. Specifically, the practice which made admission conditional on whether an applicant’s occupation was in national shortage. It was then replaced with the Medium to Long-Term Strategic Skill List (MLTSSL, which makes selection conditional on whether an occupation might be needed in two to ten years’ time. The MLTSSL includes various professions Australia’s own Department of Employment has judged to be oversupplied, particularly accounting and engineering. Nonetheless, their data produces conclusions similar to the aforementioned studies, but are “twofold”, and the results differ depending on the range of the skill groups used. The report says: “When Australian-born people are compared with all immigrants, there is almost no evidence that immigration is associated with worse (or better) labour market outcomes for Australian-born people. (Although the SIH-based analyses reveal a small statistical association between immigration and a higher labour force participation (LFP) rate for Australian-born people.)” However, when a much wider range of skills is used the conclusion is different: “When a wider classification of skills is used, the results suggest that a 1 percentage point increase in recent immigrants as a share of the existing Australian community is associated with a fall in hourly wages [of] 2.6 per cent, and increase in hours of work [of] 32 minutes per week, and an increase in the LFP rate [of] one half of a percentage point” Authors mention the problems with both of these results. They say a narrow classification can produce a biased result, and a wider classification is “problematic” because harmful effects to natives could be offset by an overall increase in welfare, which the authors fail to mention for this case. The authors conclude that immigration (over the period 2000-2011) has neither helped nor harmed the labor market outcomes of the existing Australian community. Although immigration to Australia is generally high skill, it still hurts certain Australian workers. Findings in the report are in line with previous findings from the United States, where researchers found that “Higher skill immigration has minimal effects on the economic opportunities of high skill native workers, but generally negative impacts on low skill workers” Report authors could classify the negative effects as insignificant, but they sometimes go beyond the labor market. A half hour increase in working time may seem small, but it adds on an already existing working hour’s problem in Australia. According to a report last year from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 20 per cent of men and 7 per cent of women in paid employment worked 50 hours or more a week. The levels are down from what they were in 2004, but it still ranks Australia 27th out of 35 in the OECD. The report illustrates that regardless of the number of hours worked, if an individual’s preferences did not align with their working hours, they reported lower levels of satisfaction and poorer mental health than individuals whose preferences aligned with their working hours, and was true for both underemployed and overemployed workers. More research from the Australian National University observed about 2500 working couples and their children across 10 years. They found kids were at highest risk when both parents experienced conflict between their jobs and family time, especially with heavy workloads, long hours and a lack of job security. Australian workers affected by immigration in the labor market seem to be the ones who need work hours reduced, and wages increased the most.
Impact on Youth Workers
Since 1994, the male youth unemployment rate has increased relative to the national rate, up from around 1.7 times to 2.4 times in 2015. Since 1987, the population share of young males not in the labor force or full-time education has increased to around 5 per cent. As the number of graduates has swelled, graduates have found it more difficult to find a job on completion of tertiary education. For example, the share of higher education graduates in full-time employment four months after graduation has fallen from 85 per cent in 2008 to 68 per cent in 2014. This 17 percentage point fall has been matched by an 11 percentage point increase in the share of recent graduates in part-time employment and a 6 percentage point increase in those not working. In 1977, median graduate starting salaries were equal to male average weekly earnings. By 2014, median graduate starting salaries had fallen to 74 per cent of male average weekly earnings. This has coincided with an increase in the share of the population with bachelor degrees, from 5.8 per cent of the population in 1982 to 24.1 per cent in 2014. Finally, since 1978 the youth underemployment rate has increased five-fold to 20 percent in 2015. The National Reserve Bank of Australia (2015) has found that graduates have found it more difficult to find a job on completion of tertiary education as the number of graduates has increased. A study by Tom Karmel (2015) found that while demand for workers with qualifications had increased, this had been ‘swamped’ by the increased supply of people with qualifications, which in turn led to the average quality of jobs being lower in 2011 than in 1996. Australia has had large immigrant inflows over the past decade, but did immigration do this to Australia’s youth? An analysis of research by the Commission back in 2006 found that immigration didn’t increase unemployment in the Australian population as a whole, but may increase unemployment in sectors with high concentrations of immigrants. Their report also found that wage growth of workers in direct competition with skilled immigrants was suppressed by immigrants.[2a][2b] The Commission’s 2016 study cites what little research there is on the subject, showing that since immigrants generally accept lower skilled jobs (relative to their qualifications), that they compete with Australian youth in the same markets, thus lowering the overall demand for low skill labor. The authors cite complaints from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU): “The current work rights attached to [working holiday] 417 and [work and holiday] 462 visas are not consistent with the stated purpose of the visa, and undermine employment for young workers, unskilled workers, Australian students and local workers seeking part-time or casual work.” To add a balanced perspective, commission authors cite a study by economists Giovanni Peri and Mette Foged, where they find that refugee inflows into Denmark boosted youth employment and put upward pressure on wages. If one is to assume these findings to be true, it is hard to compare the results to that of Australia. Most refugees in Europe are very low skilled,  whereas the immigrants coming to Australia have a much higher education, and are more able and willing to work than the refugees in Europe.[4a][4b]Another point to consider would be the academic history of the economist Giovanni Peri, whose similar research to youth in the U.S. has been criticized for wrong methodology. One criticism from Borjas (2008) found that Peri’s method of including those in high school who had not yet graduated as high school drop outs was problematic, because once the high schoolers who had not get graduated were removed from the sample, Peri’s findings vanished.
The Authors go onto cite a few studies which found little no effects on Youth employment in Australia, although these studies were done in the 90’s where there was great demand for immigrant labor, offsetting the increase in supply. However, the same can not necessarily be said today as it is debatable whether the demand for holiday and seasonal workers is fueled by an actual shortage, or just a look for cheap labor. Regardless, the commission talks about their own findings on the subject saying that: “The finding of a significant negative correlation was suggestive that immigration may have been a contributing factor to adverse outcomes in the youth labour market, but that the evidence was inconclusive and further examination was required before causality could be inferred.” Nonetheless, the report concludes that this should not be taken as hard evidence that immigration harms employment opportunities for Australian natives, despite the significant correlation. If the commission’s findings were to be seen as evidence of causing adverse effects on youth employment, it’d be in line with previous research from the United States, where the Federal Reserve found that growth in the number of immigrants competing with American youth may have considerably reduced youth employment rates.
The Environmental Impact
Australia is currently responsible for some of the largest greenhouse gas emissions in the world, with the country producing over 16 tons of it every year. Mass influx of peoples from around the world every year to Australia set a bad example for world in the efforts to limit climate change. As Australia’s population expands, so does its environmental footprint. Increased emissions result in lower water quality, even for streams far away from suburban areas and cities. Animals like the dugong, cassowary, hairy nosed wombat, platypus, etc. are not immune to the changing environment, and will be relegated to the annals of extinction as victims of endless population growth. Immigrants tend to migrate to a few large cities, which push up housing demand, forcing housing to expand the city boundaries onto farmland. This could have negative impacts on food production as well as natural systems. There has been speculation that the demand on the environment that population growth creates could send Australia over a “tipping point”, where it will be too late to reverse the damage done. The aim to reduce environmental degeneration is an imperative one, especially considering the fact that Australia is a world leader in animal biodiversity loss. Regardless of the aforementioned concerns, it is a fact that Australia’s population growth contributes greatly to its carbon footprint. High rates of immigration mean that more effort is required to reduce emissions and combat climate change in general.
Impact on Housing
Homelessness among youth (ages 19-24) has increased 46% from the period 2006 to 2016; homelessness experts are blaming housing, where there has been a 39% increase in mean prices of residential dwellings in Australia from the period 2011 to 2017. Did immigration cause this increase? There has been much research done on the impact that immigration has on housing prices. For instance, an analysis by MIT researcher Albert Saiz in 2003 found that low skilled immigration shocks over the period 1979 to 1981, and associated higher residential densities, increased rents in Miami by between 8 and 11 percent compared to less popular migration destinations. Another study by the same author in 2007 found that found that [all] immigration increased rent in the short run followed by house prices, with a 1 percent rise in the population due to immigration flows leading to a 1 percent increase in rent and house prices in metropolitan areas in the United States. A third study by Chanpiwat (2015) found that, in New Zealand over 1996 to 2011, a 1 percent migration shock increased house prices by 7.5 percent on a national scale, although they also found that smaller housing markets have a stronger price response than larger cities where immigrants tend to cluster. In contrast to the previous negative findings, Albert Saiz did a paper in 2011 finding that immigration in certain U.S. metropolitan areas was negatively correlated with any change in housing prices, interpreting that native flight, was the cause. Finally, researcher Filipa Sa found similar evidence in a 2015 paper examining immigrant concentration and housing prices in the UK and Wales. He found that a 15% increase in population in an area reduces housing prices by a mere 2%, and this effect was strongest in areas with high concentrations of low-educated immigrants. What does the Australian data say? Two studies, Bourassa and Hendershott (1995) and Otto (2007), found that an increase in population through interstate migration alone increased housing prices. A recent study done in 2015 by Stojanka Andic examined the house price movements in Australian states and territories between 1971 and 2013, taking into account all sources of population growth, the study found that, post 1991, net overseas migration had increased median house prices. There’s more recent research on the contribution that immigration has had to housing growth, and what the product of increased housing demand is in Australia. The research comes from Birrell and McCloskey (2015), they projected that, on current patterns in NOM (Net Overseas Migration), the number of households would grow by 12.7 percent between 2011-12 and 2021-22 in Melbourne (191,151 households), while in Sydney the number would grow by 12.2 percent (198,807 households). They also found that recent immigrants preferred separate housing over older immigrants (those who have been in Australia for longer than five years), this tendency for immigrants to cluster in few cities is a causality for much of the high pricing present in separate housing. The study concluded as such: “Young people (including recently arrived migrants) will be forced to pursue their dream ever further towards the periphery of Sydney and Melbourne and perhaps beyond. […] The result will be […] an increased gulf between those wealthy enough to enjoy the amenity of the inner and middle suburbs and the rest who have to cope with long distances from this amenity.” The aforementioned information was discussed in the Productivity Commission’s 2016 report, they also discuss other findings about how Australia’s cities are no longer functioning as well as they used too. The findings come from a study done by Kelly and Donegan (2015), which say that local government’s reluctance to address issues and change policy could have great consequences: “…makes many residents of established areas doubtful that change will be in their interests, or accommodate their wishes. People resent having plans and decisions thrust upon them. If plans are not supported by the community they will not endure and make a difference. So existing patterns of housing development and population continue, notwithstanding the increasing congestion and limited housing choice and poor access to jobs these bring about.” Finally, the authors argue that the more unaffordable housing becomes, the harder it will be for workers to commute to jobs within the city: “Enabling people to live closer to jobs would help grow the economy by giving people a wider choice of jobs and employers a better choice of employees.” They note the negative effects if this does not happen, saying “And if housing doesn’t get built in places with good access to jobs, it gets built in areas with poor access to jobs, exacerbating the growing social and economic divide.”  Commission authors summarize their findings after reviewing this evidence as immigration having negative effects on housing for Australians, they conclude: “High rates of immigration put upward pressure on land and housing prices in Australia’s largest cities. Upward pressures are exacerbated by the persistent failure of successive state, territory and local governments to implement sound urban planning and zoning policies.”
Impact on Services
Housing isn’t the only resource negatively impacted by immigration, urban water, sewage, and waste services also see increases in cost do to expanded population growth. These services depend on parts of the environment to function, such as landfills, rain fed dams, groundwater deposits, and ocean outfalls. Population growth fuels demand for these services, and as the demand increases, so does the substitution of these environmental services in favor of more technological based ones (such as desalination plants and tertiary treatment of sewerage). These new methods come with higher costs. Research from Topp and Kulys 2012 finds that this has negative effects on productivity. More research from the Water Services Association of Australia found that results formed from ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) population data showed water consumption will increase thirty-nine to forty-six percent between 2009 and 2026. Finally, research from Sobels et al. (2010) experimented with different models of net overseas migration, it found that NOM rates of fifty-thousand a year (a rate significantly below current levels) would result in very small net positive effects on water supply for Sydney and Melbourne, and negative effects (and thus additional spending) for water services in Perth and Brisbane. The other estimation of a NOM rate of two hundred and sixty-thousand a year (a rate well above current levels) would see all four of the aforementioned cities spending significantly more on water services. The Productivity Commission comments on their review of this research: “Urban population growth puts pressure on many environment-related resources and services, such as clean water, air and waste disposal. Managing these pressures requires additional investment, which increases the unit cost of relevant services, such as water supply and waste management. These higher costs are shared by all utility users.”
Impact on Transport
Population growth is the main cause of congestion in cities, which has increasingly become an important issue among many Australians. The issue is very important in places like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Melbourne is particularly at risk of congestion, with over 6.1 million people living in Greater Victoria, and four in five living in Melbourne alone. Ninety percent of new arrivals to Victoria settle in Melbourne, this isn’t economically viable for the city.[1a][1b] A report by Essential Economics found that it’d cost 3.1 billion dollars to support a fifty
thousand person increase in Melbourne’s metropolitan area. In contrast, it’d cost only a billion dollars to resettle that same fifty thousand people around regional Victoria. However, to understand the impact that immigration has had on congestion in these areas, it is important to understand the impact of congestion itself. The costs of congestion are emotional and fiscal; these costs include increased travel time, stress, deterioration of vehicles and infrastructure, as well as accidents. These are real problems that don’t always show themselves in GDP figures. The latest research on the topic comes from The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) whose 2015 report found that the total avoidable cost of congestion was 16.5 billion dollars as of that year. The number, which was estimated for Australia’s capital cities, has more than doubled since 2005. The report also found that this cost is expected to rise at a rate of two percent annually to 2030, where the costs will be between 27.7 and 37.3 billion dollars. These numbers don’t include some of the psychological effects congestion has, such as road rage and general stress from loss of time with loved ones or at work. The Productivity Commission notes on the subject that: “Immigration, as a major source of population growth in Australia, contributes to congestion in the major cities, raising the importance of sound planning and infrastructure investment.” Then come some benefits, “While a larger population offers opportunities for more efficient use of, and investment in, infrastructure, governments have not demonstrated a high degree of competence in infrastructure planning and investment.” But these don’t come without costs, which will be put on the backs of Australians, “Funding will inevitably be borne by the Australian community either through user-pays fees or general taxation.”
The Social Impact
The impact of immigration on Australian society can be measured by observing how it has affected social cohesion within Australia. Social Cohesion is metric quantifying how well a society gets along together, whether the people in that society feel a part of it (or don’t), as well as what impacts these have on attitudes and actions among the populace. The concept of social cohesion and the context of this analysis begs the question; What impact has Immigration had on Australian social cohesion? First, it’s wise to take a look at the international data, which documents how diversity affects social capital, and diversity can’t be present in previously mono-cultural or mono-racial places unless there is migration of some kind into that area, interstate or international. Research on the subject has been done in nearly every continent on earth, whether it is Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. All of these studies show decreased group trust because of ethnic diversity, other studies done internationally have found that ethnic diversity increases poverty, decreases voter turn out, charitable giving, innovation, and can even be the cause of civil war in some cases. The results from Australia produce similar results, with ethnic diversity being associated with lower trust at the group and individual level. The first results come from Wickes et al. (2013) where researchers examined 4,000 individuals in over 148 Brisbane suburbs, attempting to find if ethnic diversity increased “hunkering”, a phenomenon documented in the United States where individuals avoid engagement within their community, other ethnic groups, and within their own group. They found that diversity decreased community engagement, neighborly exchange, and general trust in more diverse suburbs. Their findings did indeed provide support for similar findings in the United States. The second results are from a study done in 2006 using the Australian Social Survey (ASS). Researchers found that the more diverse a place was linguistically and ethnically, the lower the trust was, although linguistic diversity was associated with a much stronger negative effect than ethnic diversity. One of the reasons that ethnic diversity would have a lower effect that linguistic diversity is that while the former decreases the likelihood of communicating, the latter decreases the likelihood and ability of communication. The linguistic assimilation of immigrants would also be a very good thing to explore. According to data from the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Data set (ACMID) over 94% of all skilled migrants are proficient in English, along with 81% of all family migrants, and 66% for humanitarian ones. Considering the vast majority are proficient, there should be no problem right? Wrong. Recent data from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection found that 76% of immigrants from Hong Kong and 47% of immigrants from China do not speak English well or at all. The effects of this go beyond social problems, where research has shown that linguistic barriers can prevent capital accumulation as well as productivity. Finally, (not related much to ethnic diversity, but rather cultural diversity) is an analysis done by ethnologist Frank Salter in 2016 examining the effect of Muslim communities in Australia. Salter used data from nearly half a dozen surveys, conducted by the Scanlon Foundation in conjunction with the Multicultural Foundation of Australia. Salter found that Muslim communities had “strongly negative social impacts for long-time Australians” affecting Australians up to the third generation in some cases. He noted that the effects are significant for Muslim communities, not occurring on the scale seen in other minority religions like Buddhism.[16a][16b]Considering everything previously mentioned, it’s no surprise that social cohesion in Australia has fallen nearly ten percentage points from where it was in 2007.
It is important to understand that different immigrant groups have different effects, and assimilate at different rates into Australian society; some don’t really assimilate at all. A survey from the Scanlon Foundation in 2012 asked participants to what extent they felt a belonging to Australian society, as one would think the vast majority of Australian-born respondents (98%) had felt they belonged. On the other hand only 56% foreign-born respondents said that they felt like they belonged. The survey noted that the majority of foreign-born people who had been Australia for the past 20 years had felt like they belonged. The fact that it takes twenty years for foreign-born respondents to catch up to a number close to that of natives implies slow integration. There is also no guarantee that the more recent immigrants polled will feel the same way, especially as Australian society becomes more fractionalized as a result of migration. It is also worthy to ponder whether the result of ‘belonging’ is related to the destruction of the mono-cultural anglo-celtic society Australia once was. It would seem obvious that a society where everyone feels as if they ‘belong’ is one in which society, culture and people are melted down or retelevised into their lowest common denominators. Social structure obligations that break down when migration increases and the original inhabitants become liberalised seems to be the only way a society like this could possibly come about. Although it isn’t certain because as nobody truly belongs or overwhelmingly represents the country at large because of the fractured nature of multiculturalism it seems logical to follow that people will feel even less belonging. The paradox of multiculturalism is that in attempting to create a space where all culture’s ‘belong’ nobody can belong because nobody can integrate into multiple cultures. We become like a shapeshifter, no face, no true form to represent us. This is all done by breaking down the Anglo-Celtic roots of Australia (in this instance although it would happen anywhere multiculturalism becomes doctrine, in China the han-chinese roots would be destroyed) in order to impose a liberalised multicultural order, a blank canvas to import cultures onto without regard for the original inhabitants and their cultural roots.
On the 10th of July of 2019 a study on neighbourhood ethnic diversity and mental health in Australia was released. Using 16 waves of longitudinal data from the Household, income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey they found that Ethnic Diversity is negatively associated with mental health. They found that a standard deviation increase in ethnic diversity is associated with a decline of 0.092-0.129 standard deviations in mental health, and that ethnic diversity influences mental health through the level of neighbourhood trust. They suggested that to fill the gap multiculturalism has created in a formerly homogenous and cohesive society that we’ll need to develop social inclusion policies. It’s also been observed that Native Australians flee to private schools in response to inflow of immigrants into Australia. What this shows us isn’t a ‘successful multicultural society’, but a society in which we’re in danger of our mental health deteriorating and our social cohesion plummeting and we’re not even at high level multicultural mode. We’re certainly behind countries like the United States in which race relations according to Pew Research in 2019 has never been lower. Australia is heading down the same road as you’d expect when in 2018 Race Relations were the worst they’ve ever been in 5 years. We see in the United States what the honourable Arthur Calwell predicted would happen when diversity is introduced, the rise of black power which can be observed in the very high racial identity of Black Americans who value their Blackness to be an integral part of their identity. Calwell being a man of vision warned us of what would occur if a multi-racial society were to be pursued.
If Australians are ever foolish enough to open their gates in a significant way to people other than Europeans, they will soon find themselves fighting desperately to stop the nation from being flooded by hordes of non-integratables. Then we will also need a Race Relations Board. None is needed now. A Race Relations Board is necessary only where there are racial problems and racial tensions. We are currently spared this rather expensive luxury.Arthur Calwell, Be Just and Fear Not (1972), pp.118
And this is what we see happening. As noted previously to fix the fracturalisation that multiculturalism has created in Australia the 2019 study put forth the need for these very similar policies and orgs that Calwell spoke of. In fact Australia already has ‘Multicultural Commissions who have boards of chairmen who work to end ‘racism’ enforce the promotion of diversity and ease race relations. In fact, that’s why Australia has a ‘Race Discrimination Commissioner’ who is currently an Asian man called ‘Chin Tan’ and before him another Asian man called ‘Tim Soutphommasane’. They’re currently working to ‘break the bamboo ceiling’ with the Asian Australian Lawyers Association because apparently Australia lacks Asians in our judicial system. All of these associations and commissions are linked to minority racial and religious groups in Australia for advancing the interests and power of everyone except the original Anglo-Celtic Australians.
ESB and NESB Migrants
The survey did not distinguish much between foreign-born participants who came from an English speaking background and those who didn’t, so it’s hard to tell whether one group feels more connected to Australian society than another from this data alone. However, there is recent data that could be used as an insight. Research by Earnest Healy in 2007 found that Immigrants from English speaking backgrounds (ESB) were much more likely to volunteer in the past 12 months than Immigrants from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds (NESB). This held true even after accounting for income, time of arrival, and English speaking proficiency. Volunteering is a “key indicator of social capital” according to Healy. He also found that in areas of high ethnic diversity that volunteering was not only low for immigrants, but natives as well. More recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics finds that both recent and older immigrants from ESB are more likely to not only volunteer in the past twelve months, but also to have attended a cultural venue, to feel safe when walking alone at night in a local area, to be employed (full or part time), and attend a sporting event as a spectator within the past year than Immigrants from NESB. English speaking ability is demonstrating itself to be a valuable measure of integration into Australian society. The 2011 Census showed that 14 percent of youth (aged 15–19 years) who did not speak English well were not in employment, education or training (NEET), while the overall NEET rate for such youth in Australia was 5 percent. A lack of English proficiency is making it harder for NESB to attend community events. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that 73 percent of children born in Australia and 75 percent born in other English-speaking countries participated in sport and/or cultural activities compared to 53 per cent for children born in non-English speaking countries.
A significant reason for this lack of integration can be attributed to language barriers, though these barriers could also be a result of NESB migrant’s refusal to adopt English. Nearly half of all overseas born people in Australia spoke Asian languages at home, and a quarter of the children of these immigrants did the same. This suggests that immigrants are, to some degree, discouraging their children from linguistic assimilation. Another reason for a lack of integration is presence of many Asian immigrant enclaves throughout Australian cities. These enclaves dis-incentivize immigrants from assimilating because they’re able to live and communicate in space with language and culture much similar to their country of origin. A particularly good example of this would be Chinese enclaves in Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD), where nearly 40% of people there are of Chinese ancestry. The CBD news interviewed a particular resident, Wendy Liu, and asked her about the community. She said that it was easy for her non-English speaking parents to visit her “because there are many people speaking Mandarin here,” she also said that she’s able to eat Chinese food and speak Mandarin a lot there, allowing her to stay connected to the Chinese community. In the CBD a third of all residents speak Mandarin at home. Only 14.5% of the people living in the CBD were born in Australia, whereas a 24.9% were born in China (up from the 14% in 2011), an even larger percentage (38.4 per cent) of Melbourne CBD residents identify their ancestry as Chinese, compared with 7.7 per cent who identify themselves as English, and 4.6 per cent as Australian. It seems that the tendency of Chinese immigrants to not assimilate culturally is not caused solely by first generation immigrants, since nearly 80% of the CBD is comprised of second generation immigrants.
The enclave in the CBD does not only hurt social integration, but seems to hurt economic integration as well. The median personal weekly income among CBD residents is $431, however, the weekly median rent in the CBD is $451, 38% higher than the median Victorian rent of 325$. Since CBD resident’s median personal weekly income is smaller than the state median, it adds stress and senses of unaffordability for the 70% of residents renting their home. The median weekly household income in the CBD is $955, compared with $1419 in Victoria. This results in nearly half of CBD households spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rents, whereas in Victoria only 10.4 per cent of households face rents that cost more than 30 per cent of the household income. These income gaps exist despite nearly 60% of CBD residents being university educated. A recent study from researchers at Macquarie University observed 19 different ethnic groups in Sydney, and found that in all of them the second and third generations of these immigrants were no more likely to assimilate than the first. These findings are contrary to what theory would predict, with each immigrant generation becoming more assimilated than the last. Instead, the lack of integration was persistent with the descendants of those immigrants. However, second and third generation immigrants of Irish and UK descent were an exception, and were found to be evenly distributed throughout the city, nearly exactly in line with the Australian born. It concluded by saying: “The hypothesis set out at the start of this paper[…]that within ancestral groups second generations should be less segregated than first generations, and third generations less segregated still, has been largely rejected by these analyses of the geography of 19 groups in Sydney…” A geographical breakdown of the census data provides a picture of how these ethnic groups tend to cluster in Sydney
The same sort of residential segregation can be observed in Melbourne, where there are various ethnic groups in the city, but all seem to be living in their own segregated areas. The influx of ethnic minorities into Melbourne has caused “white flight”, or the tendency of white people to move away from an area when non-whites move in. Trends of immigrant enclaves in Australia follow similar trends of enclaves in the United States, where social and economic integration stagnate or do not occur as a result of said encalves. Immigrants from NESB not only seem to experience slower social integration into Australian society than ESB migrants, but slower economic integration as well. Wage assimilation for all immigrant groups in Australia is slow, but it is the slowest for NESBs. Immigrants of European origin are better able to pay bills from Oceania, and although Immigrants from non-religious and Chinese Universist countries have better ability to pay bills than natives, that effect disappears over twenty years. This is odd considering the fact that immigrant incomes should increase over time, retaining their better ability to pay. Large differences are present even among highly educated immigrants, a huge number of immigrants (256,504) aged 25-34 came to Australia from 2011-2016. The vast majority, 84 per cent, came from Non-English-Speaking-Countries (NESC). Just 16 per cent came from Main-English-Speaking-Countries (MESC). However, Only 24 per cent of the NESC group were employed as professionals as of 2016, compared with 50 per cent of the MESCs and 58 per cent of the same aged Australian-born graduates. Earnings are higher on average for immigrants of ESB as well. With data showing their high earnings as largely a result of their ability to speak English The Australian Red Cross describes the consequences of poor integration as causing lower employment rates, lower level jobs, higher mental health costs, higher remittances, and thus negative effects it has on immigrant family outcomes.
Immigrants in Australia not only differ in terms of integration, but also in crime as well. For instance Sudanese migrants commit disproportionate amounts of crime in Victoria, where they make up less than one percent of her population, but commit 13.9% of all aggravated robberies, and 7.4% of all home invasions. Victoria has seen a 28% increase in unique offenders from Sudan. According to most recent data, Sudanese people have the highest imprisonment rate in Australia. In fact, all immigrants from Samoa, Iraq, Romania, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Papua New Guinea, and Columbia all have higher imprisonment rates than native Australians. The greatest number of overseas-born prisoners with a most serious offence/charge of illicit drug offences came from Vietnam in 2017. Chinese immigrants have a lower incarceration rate than Australian-born citizens despite overseas born prisoners from China doubling since 2009.
Sudanese immigrants have a particular impact in Australia not only with their crime rates but their impact local communities as well. They have the highest per capita imprisonment rate (the highest imprisonment rate per 100,000 people) with over seven-hundred Sudanese people being incarcerated per one-hundred thousand people. They tend to lack the skills that many other immigrants have because they are coming from countries where much of the population doesn’t receive primary education or above. Their lack of skills tends to put them at the bottom of the income ladder in Australia, the median individual weekly income for the South Sudan-born in Australia aged 15 years and over was $272, compared with $538 for all overseas-born and $597 for all Australia born in 2011. That same year 34.4% were still attending an educational institution. The corresponding rate for the total Australian population was 8.6%. Sudanese born also have a very high unemployment rate at 28.6%, and a low labor force participation rate of 50.7%. Finally, of the 1028 South Sudan-born who were employed, 18.8 per cent were employed in either a skilled managerial, professional or trade occupation. The corresponding rate in the total Australian population was 48.4 per cent. Whether the low skills and harsh backgrounds of these migrants is what cause them to commit crime disproportionately or be in very bad labor market situations is unknown. What is known is that their actions are hurting the very Australians who took them in, expecting they would assimilate into Australian society, but instead certain groups of Sudanese men decide to terrorize the people of Tarneit. The police Chief Commissioner in Melbourne has said that efforts to form a gang violence task force is being stalled because of divisions among different African community leaders in charge of picking members for the force. The presence of Sudanese among other Sudanese is enough to create social conflict within Australian society; this type of division prevents solving the ongoing problem of crime by certain Sudan-born groups throughout Australia. In Victoria, where crime increased 12.4% from 2016 to 2017, much of the increase was attributed to “young gangs” most likely run by Sudanese migrants. Sudanese youth are also 44 times more likely to commit a crime in Victoria than Australian-born youth, and nearly 70 times more likely to commit a home invasion.
However, it is important to ask why it is Sudanese migrants involved in this gang crime the most, and why it’s not migrants from China or England. Different groups of immigrants have different impacts. Although Chinese immigrants do have one of the lowest incarceration rates of all immigrant groups, there are other ways that immigrants can introduce crime into a country; one of them is through corruption. Researchers at Harvard back in 2014 examined various inflows of immigrants into certain countries and observed whether or not they had an impact on corruption in those destination countries. They concluded that while general migration has a small effect on corruption, migration from corrupt ridden countries increases corruption in the destination country. One of the examples cited by the authors was the inflow of Chinese migrants into Indonesia and Thailand, which increased corruption there. A similar trend of the Chinese government using emigrates to spread corruption is occurring in the United States, where students are being used as tools to spread communist ideology, and gain ideological control on university campuses. Though this may sound absurd to some people, China’s leader, Xi Jin Ping, has admitted this and personally encouraged Chinese students abroad to carry out propaganda tasks to “serve the nation.” These types of groups are already forming in Australia, and are a result of allowing those who dare not give up their allegiance to the Chinese government into the country. The impacts of these immigrant groups are why it’s important to delineate between types of Immigrants. If one were to choose a group of people to emigrate to Australia, data tells us this ideal group would be those from English speaking backgrounds from Europe, a type similar to what Australia had in mind prior to the 1970’s.
The Fiscal Impact
The estimated median income tax paid in 2009-10 by all recent permanent immigrants was about the same as the general Australian taxpaying population, at $4500. Skill stream immigrants paid more in (median) income tax relative to the general population, whereas family stream and humanitarian immigrants paid less. There are also differences among primary and secondary applicants within these visas. Primary and secondary applicants had substantial differences in the median amount of tax paid, particularly in the skill stream. Skill stream primary applicants paid about $8100 in income tax compared with about $3200 for secondary applicants. Smaller differences were apparent in the family stream ($3500 for primary applicants; $1900 for secondary applicants) and humanitarian arrivals ($2900 for primary applicants; $2300 for secondary applicants).
Older immigrants tend to pay less.
Immigrants have different levels of access to government-funded services and assistance depending on their visa type and whether they are temporary or permanent immigrants. Humanitarian immigrants aged 15–64 years, who have immediate access to income support, had a 65 percent take-up rate of income support. In contrast, family stream immigrants had a 13 percent take-up rate. Immigrants in the skill stream were far less likely to be on benefits, with only 3 percent on income support.
Medicare use is less for Immigrants from English-Speaking-Backgrounds, but not by much.
ESB migrants generally spend less on Medicare, especially as age increases.
Humanitarian migrants are the most likely to attend government schools, whereas skill stream migrants are the least likely to.
With the data presented the question remains, does immigration have net negative or positive fiscal impacts? Australia does see a small net benefit (usually within one to two percent of GDP), but not all migrants produce net positive effects. For instance, low skill immigrants in Australia have much lower contributions than high skill ones. The age at which an immigrant arrives also plays an important factor; young skilled migrants are the ones who have the highest productivity. This is because they arrive at prime working ages, and are usually new graduates, so the Australian government doesn’t have to pay for their education. The longer someone is able to live and work in Australia means the longer they can also pay taxes. Immigrants who come at a later age in life have less positive effects, and most of those over the age of 55 have net negative effects.
Fiscal effects of immigrants change the longer they stay in the country, and it varies by visa category. Humanitarian migrants are a net negative their entire lifetime in Australia; where as migrants from family visas initially have a positive impact that drops over time, eventually reaching net negative levels after a period of around thirty years. Skilled migrants are similar in this regard, and have net negative effects after a period of 40 years. All visa categories become net negatives after approximately 43 years of residence in Australia. However, recent research from the treasury shows a slightly more detailed view of the fiscal effects of visa categories. If migration from the secondary skilled visa, parents and partners from the family visa, and humanitarian visa was stopped the net fiscal impact would be nearly seven billion dollars more. Some may have concerns about the elimination of humanitarian migration, but it is important to learn that it would be easier to help these people in their home countries, setting up safe zones and shelters for them there, rather than bringing them to Australia and forcing them to integrate into a foreign culture. Evidence shown in previous sections has proved this assimilation, economic and social, does not occur.
The Productivity Commission has also estimated the effects of changes in immigration levels and what effects they would have in the next forty years. They compare current level migration, Zero Net-Overseas-Migration (NOM), 0.3% NOM, and 1% NOM. Australian GDP would supposedly increase by 60% in 2060 if there was 1% NOM, and zero NOM would produce GDP growth, but not nearly to the extent as the previous rate. Despite the low GDP, Labor Productivity is predicted to be the highest with zero NOM.
Wages are also predicted to be either insignificantly lower or significantly higher for certain occupations by 2060 under Zero NOM. Communications and professional workers see the biggest increase, followed insignificant increases for labourers, and then clericals and admins. The rest of the occupations see insignificant decreases. The largest increases make sense for their respective occupations, as immigration to Australia generally flows into those job markets, so decreasing the supply of labour would increase the demand for it, increasing their wages.
Immigration, on the fiscal level, seems to have small positive effects on Australia’s budget and GDP. However, there are some problems with the commissions projections, since they are looking into the future they make a lot of assumptions that play into their results, and there is enough evidence to put serious doubt on their claims of GDP slowing down. For instance, researchers at MIT found that there was no correlation with a countries population aging and a slowdown in economic growth. This suggests that if Australia were to stop a large portion of migration, allowing the average age of the population to increase, there would be no slowdown in economic growth. Australia’s immigration policy could produce greater positive effects with certain adjustments, such as admitting younger, more skilled migrants from English-speaking-backgrounds. This would allow for rapid integration into the labor market, and get rid of any productivity reducing language barriers that often occur with migrants who are not from ESBs.
It is standards that made Australia’s immigration system more beneficial than America’s, but the costs of immigration in Australia have shown that there are serious problems that need to be fixed. The propensity to admit people who have low English proficiency end up reducing social cohesion and creating productivity barriers that would not otherwise be seen with immigrants who are proficient in English. Most of the supposed skill stream immigrants tend to flow into oversupplied occupations, causing them to then find work in lower skilled occupations, increasing over qualification among migrants. In turn, these migrants then end up competing with Australia’s most vulnerable workers. The Immigrants of the world are not entitled to Australia, but Australian’s are entitled to standards in their immigration system, so that it benefits them the most. One should ask how Australia go to this point, with lower trust than ever, soaring housing prices, stagnant wages, and vamped foreign gang crime. There are many factors that control these outcomes, most of which are simply out of control of Australians, but a growing environmental footprint, more traffic, and increased housing prices are significantly caused immigration – something that Australia can absolutely prevent. Any problem caused by immigration, can be solved by not having the type of immigrants who create that problem in the first place. Australian’s are entitled to a future in which they are prosperous, where their cities feel Australian and not like some foreign country, and where they can feel as if they live in real, cohesive communities. Without better standards, Australia is bound to turn into the United States, where a lack of standards has produced negative effects that are near irreversible.
2. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429053143/http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/3418.0
3. Table 29 https://web.archive.org/web/20180429053343/https://cis.org/Immigrants-United-States-Profile-Americas-ForeignBorn-Population-0
Background of Immigrants
1. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429053918/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 119-120
2. Ibid, 121
Labor Market Impact
2. https://archive.fo/ZLqGe pg. 353
3. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429053918/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 197
1. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429055308/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pp. 200-201
2. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429055346/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migration-population/monashmodel/monashmodel.pdf Or pp. 195 in https://web.archive.org/web/20180429055308/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf
4. https://archive.fo/2yVaR https://web.archive.org/web/20180429055543/https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-germany-survey/only-13-percent-of-recent-refugees-in-germany-have-found-work-survey-idUSKBN13A22F
The Environmental Impact
1. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429055308/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 223
3. Ibid, 225
Impact on Housing
2. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429060711/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 228
3. Ibid, 227
4. Ibid, 228-229
5. Kelly, J-F. and Donegan, P. (2015) pg. 138
6. Ibid, 162
7. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429060711/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 230
Impact on Services
1. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429060711/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 231
4. Ibid. Finding 7.2
Impact on Transport
1. https://archive.fo/JoJpB http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/report-finds-melbourne-fastbecoming-unliveable/news-story/b238d5931a9b475ada247341dfe8d1dc
5. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429060711/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 234
3. https://archive.fo/rKAIy https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1465-7287.2010.00215.x
13. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429063255/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 129
16. https://archive.fo/pyena https://web.archive.org/web/20180429063611/http://socialtechnologies.com.au/a-general-social-impact-assessment-of-mosques-in-australian-neighbourhoods/
17. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429053918/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 254
18. Neighbourhood ethnic diversity and mental health in Australia https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hec.3928
19. Ibid. “Our findings point to the need to develop policies that promote social inclusion in multicultural societies and build trust between heterogeneous ethnic groups as a vehicle to improve mental health.” In fact the multicultural and human rights commissions are already doing this which reallys makes you wonder how successful it’s actually been.
21. Race in America 2019, Pew Research Centre. https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019/04/09/race-in-america-2019/
ESB and NESB Migrants
2. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429063255/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 255
3. Ibid, 256
4. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429063255/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 144
14. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429064335/http://tapri.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Final-March-8-Australias-skilled-migration-program.pdf pg. 2
15. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429063255/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 308
17. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429063255/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg 261
2. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429064529/http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Lookup/by%20Subject/4517.0~2014~Main%20Features~Country%20of%20birth~7
3. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429064620/http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Lookup/by%20Subject/4517.0~2017~Main%20Features~Country%20of%20birth~9
1. https://web.archive.org/web/20180429063255/http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake/report/migrant-intake-report.pdf pg. 301
2. Ibid, 302