Journal article

Population growth: what do Australian voters want?

19 Apr 2010

Over two thirds of Australian voters are against population growth according to new data from the 2009 - 2010 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes.

Immigration-fuelled population growth has accelerated under the Rudd Government. Recent projections suggest that Australia may grow from its current 22 million to 35.9 million by 2050. This prospect has sparked a public debate about the country’s demographic future. If population growth were to become an election issue how would Australian voters respond? Relevant new data are available from the latest Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, a mailout questionnaire sent to a large random sample of voters. It was completed between December 2009 and February 2010. The results show that only 31 per cent want growth while 69 per cent want stability. This is an increase on the proportions who have been pro-stability in the past: 50 per cent in 1977 and the 65 per cent in 2001.

The data, analysed by Swinburne University researcher Associate Professor Katharine Betts, is published in the latest edition of the journal People and Place.

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