In January 2000, the United Nations Population Division published their report Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations? It comprised a set of forecasts calculating population estimates for countries with a view to 2050.

The forecasts assumed that the fertility and mortality rates for 1995 would persist to 2050.

It calculated the number of immigrants necessary for each country to maintain the population observed at the starting point (1995).

Replacement Migration policies updated

In 2019 updated demographic research observed annual net migration had exceeded UN Replacement Migration estimates in several countries’, by a significant degree.

For example, in the UK the demographic goal of sustaining total population size from 1995 to 2015 was overtaken by the magnitude of incoming migration flows.

More startling is that actual migration greatly exceeded the number required to keep the working-age population stable in the United Kingdom (more than 4 million vs. less than 1 million required).

Remarkable findings revealing British politicians and bureaucrats vastly overestimated the number of immigrants required to maintain a stable working age population.  

Maybe this was partly due to the UN report providing politicians the mistaken impression that population ageing might be ‘solved’ by high levels of net migration?

It’s interesting to note that British citizens were not impressed by this huge and unnecessary intake of immigrants. By 2016 the UK population turned out in droves to vote on the EU ‘leave or stay’ referendum. This was their first opportunity to have a say about taking back control of their borders.

The principle that decisions about immigration should be taken in the UK was ranked first by 49% of voters, leaving the EU offered the best chance for the UK to regain control over immigration.

Concluding remarks

Australian politicians have implemented very big migration programs over the past 15 years, resulting in escalating net overseas migration, compared to the long term average.

With that in mind Population Research WA will explore Replacement Migration policies in more detail over the coming months.

It is worth noting that the original UN Replacement Migration concept and critiques of their projections are published in Academic journals and are regularly updated.

There is also an ongoing analysis of how governments can best adopt and modify their own Replacement Migration policies and planning.

Replacement Migration policies are applied by governments’ which take account of demographic projections, which are conducted by government bodies such as the Australia Bureau of Statistics and State planning departments.

The Great Replacement’ on the other hand is a political and demographic theory which warns indigenous European populations are being replaced by non-European immigrants.

The Great Replacement concept was popularised by French writer Renaud Camus in his 2012 book, (‘The Great Replacement’).

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