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Australians say migration is ‘too high’ as ​​housing crisis deepens

Nearly one in two people think there are too many migrants settling in Australia, even though the vast majority of Australians believe cultural diversity is a boon to the nation.

A new poll released by the Lowy Institute on Australian attitudes found 48 per cent of respondents said the total number of migrants arriving in Australia each year was too high.

This result represents only a slight increase from the last time it was asked in 2019 and remains six percentage points lower than its peak in 2018, but it still reflects an increase of 11 points since 2014, of months after the government launched its infamous Stop the Boats campaign. .

Australians say migration is ‘too high’ as ​​housing crisis deepens

Nearly one in two Australians believe too many migrants are arriving as the housing crisis worsens.

The number of people believing that the migration flow was “about right” also decreased, from 47 percent in 2014 to 40 percent in 2024.

Despite this, nine in 10 Australians still believe the cultural diversity of the country’s population has been positive for Australia, while multiculturalism is the product of decades of immigration, said report author Ryan Neelam.

“We find that people can have contradictory opinions in their minds at the same time, but this cannot be explained as a contradiction,” he told AAP.

“People perceive the country’s identity as multicultural, but when it comes to the immigration rate, it seems that they have become less open in this regard.

“This is such a big and complex question…Depending on what part of the issue you ask about, people can have opinions that seem very different.

This political debate is now taking place as the country experiences a cost of living crisis, with major parties introducing policies linking migration to economic impacts and housing problems.

The poll also shows that Australians’ perception of China overshadows broader stabilization of diplomatic relations.

In 2022, China’s popularity has reached an all-time high, with only 12% of Australians trusting Beijing to some extent.

But the election of a Labor government helped ease tensions and Australian politicians have reconnected with their Chinese counterparts as Beijing gradually lifts trade restrictions.

The 2024 opinion polls have not returned to the highs of 2018, when more than half of Australians trusted China, but they show that 17% of Australians now trust China to act responsibly in the world.

Despite this, nine in ten Australians still believe that the cultural diversity of the country's population has been positive for Australia.

Despite this, nine in ten Australians still believe that the cultural diversity of the country’s population has been positive for Australia.

However, potential military conflict in the South China Sea and conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan have been identified as two of the biggest threats to Australia over the next decade.

On the national territory, the perception of nuclear energy has changed.

In 2024, 61% of Australians support its use, compared to almost the same proportion of people who opposed the construction of nuclear power plants thirteen years earlier.

Mr Neelam says contextual factors may have played a role with the Fukushima nuclear accident fresh in Australians’ minds in 2011 and federal opposition pushing for nuclear power in 2024.

“It’s a combination of some distance between the latest disaster, advances in technology, changing community attitudes and the continuing threat of climate change,” he said.

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