According to the country’s census office Australia’s population has crossed the 25 million mark, almost a decade earlier than expected. Last year the population rose by almost 400,000, since 1970 it has doubled.
Since the end of World War II Australia has recorded a steady growth rate of 1.6% per year. While natural increase makes up only 38% over 60% of the country’s growth comes from immigration. The Bureau of Statistics estimates that Australia will add another million to its population in three years time.
Australia attracts hundreds of thousands of immigrants every year. In the last two decades most of Australia’s newcomers have come from India, China , Great Britain and the Philippines. Today, over one third of Australia’s population were not born in the country.
As in many other western countries, some politicians have called on the government to curb immigration. They argue that the rapid increase puts stress on infrastructure, demanding more schools, hospitals and public transportation. However, it also leads to a higher growth for Australia’s economy. Immigrants pay taxes and work in areas that Australians avoid.
One of the big problems is getting immigrants to move to rural areas, where there is already a shortage of skilled workers. Eight out of ten Australians live in coastal regions . Melbourne and Sydney, the two largest cities of Australia, make up about 40% of the population. Much of the so-called outback is sparsely populated.
- according to = as said by, as reported by …
- argue = give reasons for something
- attract = here : to make something interesting so that people go there
- avoid = don’t want
- census office = place that is in charge of how the country officially counts its people
- demand = need
- doubled = to become two times as much
- estimate = to calculate something in the future, based on the information that you have
- cross = reach, move over
- curb = slow down
- immigration = when people go to another country in order to live and work there
- natural increase = here: number of people who are born in the country minus those who die
- newcomer = person who starts living in a new country
- outback = the inner part of Australia , far away from the big cities
- politician = someone who works in the government or in a political party
- public transportation = trains, buses etc.. that everyone can use
- put stress on = here: there is not enough for the growing number of people to use; you need more and more
- rapid = fast
- record = to write down information
- rise – rose = go up
- rural = in the countryside
- shortage = not enough
- skilled workers = someone who does something special they have learned through training
- sparsely = only very few people
- steady = slow but without stopping
- tax = the money you pay to the government from what you earn; it is used for public services