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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2007   
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Contents >> Population >> International migration

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION

Each year Australia’s population increases as a result of net overseas migration (the excess of permanent and long-term arrivals over permanent and long-term departures) and natural increase (the excess of births over deaths).

Traditionally, Australia’s population growth has come predominantly from natural increase. However, since 1998-99, net overseas migration comprised 45% or more of population growth, ranging from 45% in that year to 52% in 2000-01. In 2004-05 net overseas migration (123,800 people) represented half (50%) of Australia’s population growth for the year (table 5.1).

Overseas migration played an important role in changing Australia’s population. In 2004-05, 431,100 people arriving in Australia were added to the population through overseas migration (table 5.37). This included permanent (settler) arrivals, Australian residents returning from an overseas trip of twelve months or more, and overseas visitors intending to stay twelve months or more in Australia. In that year there were also 307,300 people removed from the Australian population through overseas migration, including Australian residents emigrating or going overseas for twelve months or more, and overseas visitors leaving Australia after staying for twelve months or more. The ABS applies a number of adjustments to data on long-term and permanent movements in deriving net overseas migration. Previously these movement data were adjusted for changes between intended and actual traveller duration (this adjustment was known as ‘category jumping’).

A new method of adjustment developed by the ABS takes into account problems in the enumeration of long-term and permanent arrivals and departures as a result of short trips overseas made by long-term visitors to Australia and short trips to Australia made by residents who have departed Australia on a long-term basis. It also takes into account changes in traveller intention, as did the earlier method.

While many of the source countries of settler arrivals to Australia have remained the same over the last 20 years, there have also been significant changes (table 5.38). When ranked in terms of settler arrivals to Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand remained in the top four source countries over the period 1984-85 to 2004-05. While many of the source countries made consistently large contributions there are a number of countries whose contribution either increased or decreased. For example, in 1984-85 Iraq was ranked 56 as a source of settlers to Australia, and had climbed to 12 in 2004-05. Conversely, Vietnam which was ranked 3 in 1984-85 fell to 11 in 2004-05.


5.37 NET OVERSEAS MIGRATION COMPONENTS, By selected years

1984-85
1994-95
1999-2000
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

Arrivals
Permanent (settlers)
77.5
87.4
92.3
89.4
104.4
116.1
Long-term
85.7
151.1
212.8
303.5
294.1
315.0
Total
163.3
238.5
305.1
392.9
398.5
431.1
Departures
Permanent
20.4
26.9
41.1
48.1
55.9
59.2
Long-term
74.9
118.5
156.8
228.3
242.6
248.1
Total
95.2
145.5
197.8
276.4
298.5
307.3
Category jumping(a)
5.7
-12.9
-
. .
. .
. .
Net overseas migration
73.7
80.1
107.3
116.5
100.0
123.8

(a) Prior to 1998-99 'category jumping' was applied to adjust migration. For 1999-2000 this was set to zero due to deficiencies in the estimation method. For 2002-03 to 2004-05 component figures have been adjusted for changes in traveller intention and multiple movement.
Source: Australian Demographic Statistics (3101.0); Migration, Australia (3412.0).

5.38 PERMANENT (SETTLER) ARRIVALS(a), By country of birth(b)
1984-85
1994-95
2004-05
Rank
Number
Proportion
Rank
Number
Proportion
Rank
Number
Proportion
no.
'000
%
no.
'000
%
no.
'000
%

United Kingdom
1
11.6
15.0
1
10.7
12.2
1
18.2
14.8
New Zealand
2
9.1
11.7
2
10.5
12.0
2
17.3
14.1
China (excludes SARs and Taiwan Province)
6
3.1
4.1
7
3.7
4.2
3
11.1
9.0
India
10
1.9
2.5
6
3.9
4.5
4
9.4
7.6
Sudan
74
0.0
0.1
44
0.4
0.4
5
5.7
4.6
South Africa
14
1.4
1.9
9
2.8
3.2
6
4.6
3.7
Philippines
5
3.2
4.1
5
4.1
4.7
7
4.2
3.4
Singapore
23
0.8
1.0
33
0.7
0.7
8
3.0
2.5
Malaysia
7
2.4
3.1
18
1.1
1.3
9
2.9
2.4
Sri Lanka
9
2.3
3.0
12
2.0
2.2
10
2.3
1.9
Vietnam
3
8.5
10.9
3
5.1
5.8
11
2.2
1.8
Iraq
56
0.2
0.2
10
2.5
2.9
12
1.9
1.6
Indonesia
15
1.3
1.7
19
1.0
1.2
13
1.9
1.6
Korea, Republic of (South)
28
0.7
0.9
31
0.7
0.8
14
1.8
1.4
Fiji
27
0.7
0.9
14
1.5
1.7
15
1.7
1.4
United States of America
12
1.5
2.0
13
1.8
2.0
16
1.6
1.3
Afghanistan
42
0.2
0.3
41
0.4
0.4
17
1.5
1.2
Lebanon
8
2.4
3.1
17
1.2
1.4
18
1.4
1.2
Pakistan
52
0.2
0.3
36
0.6
0.7
19
1.3
1.1
Thailand
32
0.5
0.6
23
0.8
0.9
20
1.3
1.0
Other
. .
25.5
32.9
. .
32.1
36.7
. .
27.8
22.5
Total
. .
77.5
100.0
. .
87.4
100.0
. .
123.4
100.0

(a) Based on stated traveller intention at arrival and not adjusted for change in traveller intention or multiple movement.
(b) Based on the top 20 source countries in 2004-05.
Source: Migration, Australia (3412.0).


MIGRATION PROGRAM

In 2004-05, 123,400 people arrived in Australia intending to settle, the majority of whom (70%) arrived as part of the Migration Program. Of Migration Program arrivals, most arrived under the skilled migration category (43% of all permanent arrivals), while 27% of all permanent arrivals arrived under the family migration category. A further 11% of all permanent arrivals arrived as part of the Humanitarian Program, while 18% were eligible to settle in Australia because of their New Zealand citizenship.

The number of visas issued to prospective settlers varies significantly from year to year. So too does the balance between the types of visas issued. Table 5.39 shows that in the five years to 2004-05 the proportion of settlers arriving under the skilled migration category ranged from 33% in 2000-01 to 46% in 2003-04 then down to 43% in 2004-05.

Of skilled migrants arriving in 2004-05 (53,100), 29% came from Europe (85% of whom were from United Kingdom and Ireland), while 19% came from southern Asia and 17% from north-east Asia. South-east Asia contributed 16% and sub-Saharan Africa contributed 10% of skilled immigrants to Australia during 2004-05.

In 2004-05, 27% of settlers (33,200) came as part of the family component of Australia’s immigration program. The major country of birth regions were Europe (23%), south-east Asia (22%), north-east Asia (18%), southern Asia (10%) and north Africa and the Middle East (9%).

Of the 13,200 settlers arriving under the Humanitarian Program, the highest proportion were born in north Africa and the Middle East (61%), followed by sub-Saharan Africa (28%) and central Asia (6%).

In addition to the 99,700 settler arrivals under the Migration and Humanitarian Programs during 2004-05, there were a further 23,700 non-program (i.e. non-visaed) arrivals. Traditionally, non-program migrants are predominantly New Zealand citizens; they accounted for 94% of non-program migrants in 2004-05. Under the Trans-Tasman Agreement, New Zealand citizens are free to enter Australia without applying for a visa.


5.39 PERMANENT (SETTLER) ARRIVALS, By eligibility category(a)

2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

Migration program
Family
20.1
18.8
23.3
26.3
28.1
29.9
29.5
26.5
33.2
26.9
Skilled
35.7
33.3
36.0
40.5
38.5
41.0
51.5
46.2
53.1
43.0
Total(b)
56.0
52.1
59.6
67.0
66.7
71.1
81.3
72.8
86.5
70.1
Humanitarian program
7.6
7.1
6.7
7.6
9.6
10.2
10.3
9.3
13.2
10.7
Non-program migration
New Zealand
42.3
39.4
21.5
24.1
16.4
17.4
18.7
16.8
22.4
18.1
Other
1.5
1.4
1.2
1.3
1.2
1.3
1.3
1.1
1.3
1.1
Total
43.7
40.7
22.6
25.4
17.6
18.7
20.0
17.9
23.7
19.2
Total
107.4
100.0
88.9
100.0
93.9
100.0
111.6
100.0
123.4
100.0

(a) Data have not been adjusted for changes in traveller intention or multiple movement.
(b) Includes Special Eligibility category.
Source: Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, 'Immigration Update’ (2002-03 and 2004-05).


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