Following two years of closed borders during the pandemic, Australians appear to be shifting towards more openness and immigration. Seven in ten Australians (68%) say ‘Australia’s openness to people from all over the world is essential to who we are as a nation’, a 15-point increase from 2018. Fewer Australians (31%) now say ‘if Australia is too open to people from all over the world, we risk losing our identity as a nation’, a ten-point decline over the past four years.
There is a significant difference across generations on this question. Eight in ten Australians aged 18–44 (79%) see openness as essential to Australia’s identity, while this is a view held by 58% of Australians aged over 45.
The number of Australians calling for reduced immigration also appears to have declined over the course of the pandemic. When asked about restarting Australia’s immigration program now that borders have reopened, 46% say that the number of immigrants allowed into Australia should be ‘around the same as pre-Covid levels’. A third of Australians (33%) say immigration should be ‘lower than pre-Covid levels’, and 21% say ‘higher than pre-Covid levels’. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, in response to a different question, 47% of Australians said immigration levels were ‘too high’, while 40% said the rate of immigration was about right.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, nine in ten Australians (90%) say they strongly or somewhat support ‘admitting Ukrainian refugees into Australia’.
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