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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2008   
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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 has comprised 45% or more of population growth for every year except 2003-04 (42%). In 2005-06 net overseas migration (134,600 people) represented 46% of Australia's population growth for the year (table 7.1).

Overseas migration played an important role in changing Australia's population. In 2005-06, 458,300 people arriving in Australia were added to the population through overseas migration (table 7.36). This included permanent (settler) arrivals, Australian residents returning from an overseas trip of 12 months or more, and overseas visitors intending to stay 12 months or more in Australia. In that year there were also 323,700 people removed from the Australian population through overseas migration, including Australian residents emigrating or going overseas for 12 months or more, and overseas visitors leaving Australia after staying for 12 months or more.

7.36 Net overseas migration components

2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

Arrivals
Permanent (settlers)
107.4
84.4
89.4
104.4
116.1
131.6
Long-term
241.2
318.9
303.5
294.1
315.0
326.7
Total
348.6
403.3
392.9
398.5
431.1
458.3
Departures
Permanent
46.5
45.9
48.1
55.9
59.2
67.9
Long-term
166.4
246.9
228.3
242.6
248.1
255.9
Total
212.9
292.8
276.4
298.5
307.3
323.7
Net overseas migration
135.7
110.6
116.5
100.0
123.8
134.6

Source: Migration, Australia (3412.0).


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 7.37). When ranked in terms of settler arrivals to Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand remained in the top four source countries over the period 1985-86 to 2005-06. 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 1985-86 Sudan was ranked seventy-fifth as a source of settlers to Australia, and had climbed to seventh in 2005-06. Conversely, Vietnam which was ranked third in 1985-86 fell to tenth in 2005-06.

7.37 PERMANENT (SETTLER) ARRIVALS(a), By country of birth(b)

1985-86
1995-96
2005-06
Rank
Number
Proportion
Rank
Number
Proportion
Rank
Number
Proportion
no.
'000
%
no.
'000
%
no.
'000
%

United Kingdom
1
14.7
15.9
2
11.3
11.4
1
23.3
17.7
New Zealand
2
13.3
14.3
1
12.3
12.4
2
19.0
14.5
India
10
2.1
2.3
5
3.7
3.7
3
11.3
8.6
China(c)
5
3.1
3.4
3
11.2
11.3
4
10.6
8.0
Philippines
4
4.1
4.5
8
3.2
3.3
5
4.9
3.7
South Africa
6
3.1
3.4
9
3.2
3.2
6
4.0
3.0
Sudan
75
0.1
0.1
40
0.5
0.5
7
3.8
2.9
Malaysia
9
2.3
2.5
19
1.1
1.1
8
3.0
2.3
Singapore
26
0.9
0.9
25
0.8
0.8
9
2.7
2.0
Vietnam
3
7.2
7.7
6
3.6
3.6
10
2.7
2.0
Other
. .
41.7
45.0
. .
48.3
48.7
. .
46.5
35.3
Total
. .
92.6
100.0
. .
99.1
100.0
. .
131.6
100.0

. . not applicable
(a) Based on stated traveller intention at arrival and not adjusted for change in traveller intention or multiple movement.
(b) Based on the top 10 source countries in 2005-06.
(c) Excludes SARs and Taiwan Province.
Source: Migration, Australia (3412.0).


Migration program

In 2005-06, 131,600 people arrived in Australia intending to settle, the majority of whom (72%) arrived as part of the Migration Program. Of Migration Program arrivals, most arrived under the skilled migration category (45% of all permanent arrivals), while 26% of all permanent arrivals arrived under the family migration category. A further 9% 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 from year to year. So too does the balance between the types of visas issued. Table 7.38 shows that in the four years to 2005-06 the proportion of settlers arriving under the skilled migration category has remained relatively stable, ranging between a low of 41% in 2002-03 and a high of 46% in 2003-04.


7.38 Permanent (Settler) Arrivals, By eligibility category(a)

2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
'000
'000
'000
'000
%
%
%
%

Migration program
Family
28.1
29.5
33.2
34.8
29.9
26.5
26.9
26.4
Skilled
38.5
51.5
53.1
59.5
41.0
46.2
43.0
45.2
Total(b)
66.7
81.3
86.5
94.4
71.1
72.8
70.1
71.7
Humanitarian Program
9.6
10.3
13.2
12.1
10.2
9.3
10.7
9.2
Non-program migration
New Zealand
16.4
18.7
22.4
23.8
17.4
16.8
18.1
18.1
Other
1.2
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.1
1.1
1.0
Total
17.6
20.0
23.7
25.1
18.7
17.9
19.2
19.1
Total
93.9
111.6
123.4
131.6
100.0
100.0
100.0
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 2005-06).


Of skilled migrants arriving in 2005-06 (59,500), 34% came from north-west Europe (93% of whom were from the United Kingdom and Ireland), while 20% came from southern and central Asia and 15% from north-east Asia. South-east Asia contributed 14% and sub-Saharan Africa contributed 7% of skilled migrants to Australia during 2005-06.

In 2005-06, 26% (34,800) of settlers came as part of the family component of Australia's immigration program. The major country of birth regions were south-east Asia (23%), Europe (21%), north-east Asia (16%), southern and central Asia (14%) and north Africa and the Middle East (9%).

Of the 12,100 settlers arriving under the Humanitarian Program, north Africa and the Middle East (52%) accounted for the greatest proportion, followed by sub-Saharan Africa (27%) and central Asia (13%).

In addition to the 106,500 settler arrivals under the Migration and Humanitarian Programs during 2005-06, there were a further 25,100 non-program (i.e. non-visaed) arrivals. Traditionally, non-program migrants are predominantly New Zealand citizens; they accounted for 95% of non-program migrants in 2005-06. Under the Trans-Tasman Agreement, New Zealand citizens are free to enter Australia without applying for a visa.




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