Essential Report

Immigration levels

Oct 26, 2021

Q. Do you think the levels of immigration into Australia over the past ten years have been…?

Oct’21 Jan’19 Apr’18 Oct’16
Much too low 5% 4% 1% 4%
A little too low 11% 7% 4% 8%
About right 36% 26% 23% 28%
A little too high 17% 23% 27% 22%
Much too high 20% 33% 37% 28%
Don’t know 11% 6% 7% 10%
TOTAL: Too low 16% 12% 5% 12%
TOTAL: Too high 37% 56% 64% 50%
  • Significantly fewer people now think levels of immigration into Australia over the last decade have been too high, compared to January 2019 and prior.
  • Over a third (37%) of people now think immigration levels are too high, compared to 56% in January 2019, 64% in April 2018 and 50% in October 2016.
  • This is driven by an increase of people who think immigration levels are about right (36% from 26% in January 2019).
  • 16% of people now think immigration levels are too low.
Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Much too low 5% 6% 4% 6% 5% 4% 7% 3% 7% 7%
A little too low 11% 12% 10% 14% 8% 12% 13% 9% 16% 11%
About right 36% 37% 35% 40% 36% 34% 38% 39% 43% 31%
A little too high 17% 16% 17% 16% 17% 17% 16% 21% 9% 13%
Much too high 20% 20% 20% 13% 20% 26% 18% 23% 10% 28%
Don’t know 11% 8% 14% 11% 13% 8% 8% 5% 15% 9%
TOTAL: Too low 16% 18% 14% 20% 13% 15% 20% 12% 23% 19%
TOTAL: Too high 37% 37% 37% 29% 38% 43% 34% 44% 19% 41%
Base (n) 1,781 875 906 533 601 647 636 610 157 220
  • Those aged over 55 are more likely than younger cohorts to think immigration levels are too high (43% to 38% of those aged 35-54, and 29% of those aged 18-34). A quarter (26%) of those over 55 think the levels are much too high.
  • Among voters, Coalition voters (44%) are most likely to think immigration levels are too high, followed by minor and independent party voters (41%). Greens voters (19%) are least likely to think this. About a third (34%) of Labor voters think the levels are too high.

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