Institutional impediments to population policy in Australia

J Aust Popul Assoc. 1995 Nov;12(2):97-112. doi: 10.1007/BF03029312.


PIP: Despite having almost the highest rate of population growth among OECD countries, Australia has no explicit population policy. The potential elements of such a policy, especially with regard to immigration, family, and environment, are deeply entrenched in separate political domains and responsive to separate clusters of interests. Vague, demographically ill-informed, and mutually inconsistent views of a desired population size or trajectory for Australia co-exist, with no arena for any systematic engagement and considered debate among them. Parallels to the case of Australia can be drawn with Canada and the US. Population policy may well be one of the issues that modern liberal democracies find particularly difficult to manage. There are, however, also specific historical circumstances which led to the outcome and perpetuate the situation. Population processes and the institution of citizenship, and contested policy domains are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Demography
  • Developed Countries
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • Organization and Administration
  • Pacific Islands
  • Population
  • Population Characteristics
  • Public Policy*