CANBERRA, May 3 (Xinhua) -- A global poll conducted by the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Survey found that 46 percent of Australian respondents thought immigration to the country should be reduced compared to 23 percent who thought it should be increased.
It found that 70 percent of people were positive towards the pathway of "qualified professionals coming here with a job offer" and 60 percent are in favor of "qualified professionals coming here to search for work," which account for about 112,000 people moving to Australia from overseas every year.
The government in March announced that the annual permanent migration cap would be reduced from 190,000 to 160,000 in an attempt to curb rapid population growth in the country's major cities.
According to YouGov, 56 percent of the 1,006 Australian respondents were against "unskilled laborers coming here to search for work" and 75 percent against "people coming here to claim benefits," neither of which is possible under Australia's current migration pathways.
The results were similar to those of a poll taken by the Lowy Institute, an independent think tank, in 2018, that found 54 percent of Australians preferred a lower immigrant intake, up from 40 percent in 2017.
"My interpretation at the time was there had been a pretty vigorous debate ... about migration, the level of migration and the pressure on things like housing prices and infrastructure," Alex Oliver, director of research at the Lowy Institute, told the Guardian Australia on Friday.
"Some of this debate and rhetoric was actually having an impact on the way people had viewed immigration."