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Aussies who want less migrants in minority

A rising number of Australians believe the nation's immigration intake needs to be cut, according to a new report.

The findings have been released at the tail-end of a year during which the size of the country's immigration program has come under scrutiny.

The 11th annual Scanlon Foundation study into social cohesion, which surveyed 1500 people in 2018, found 42 per cent of Australians now believe the number of immigrants the country accepts is too high.

That was a strong jump from 35 per cent in 2017.

At the same time, the number of people who thought the number was about right fell to 35 per cent, from 40 per cent in 2017. Another 17 per cent said the current number was too low.

But report author Andrew Markus said although concerns about immigration levels have spiked over the year, those happy with the rate or see it as too low are still in the majority.

"It does question that perceived sort of standing that Australians have now gone negative on immigration," he told AAP.

In Melbourne, 33 per cent of people said the number of immigrants accepted was too high compared to 51 per cent of people in Sydney.

Putting the number of people migrating to the country aside, attitudes towards migration in Australia remained fairly positive, according to the 2018 study.

The vast majority (82 per cent) agreed immigrants improved Australian society by bringing new ideas and cultures, while 80 per cent agreed immigrants were generally good for the economy.

Ultimately, multiculturalism had been good for Australia, 85 per cent of people agreed.

The one concern Australians were most likely to have related to the impact of immigration on the overcrowding of cities, with 54 per cent worried about the issue.

The impact of immigration on house prices was also a concern for 49 per cent of those surveyed, while 48 per cent said the federal and state governments haven't managed population growth well.

The results come after the federal government last month signalled plans to cut the official annual permanent migration intake by 30,000 places in next year's budget.

Australia's annual immigration cap stands at 190,000 but only about 162,000 permanent visas were approved last year.

© AAP 2018