The lifetime fiscal impact of the Australian permanent migration program

Peter Varela, Nicholas Husek, Thom Williams, Richard Maher and Darren Kennedy
Publication type


The Fiscal Impact of New Australians model (FIONA) has been developed by The Treasury to estimate the fiscal impact of permanent migrants over their remaining lifetimes in Australia. This estimate captures tax revenues and government expenses incurred by Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments that are directly attributable to migrants.

This paper presents the methodological approach used in FIONA along with the main modelling results. These include that:

  • the 2018‑19 permanent migrant cohort is fiscally positive at both the Commonwealth, and State and Territory levels
  • migrants from the Skill stream have the most positive lifetime fiscal impact, followed by the Family stream and the Humanitarian stream
  • the main drivers of fiscal impact are the age at which migrants arrive in Australia and their labour market performance.