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4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 1995  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/06/1995   
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Contents >> Population >> Population Growth: Net overseas migration

Population Growth: Net overseas migration

Net overseas migration in 1993 was the lowest since 1976. Only five years earlier, in 1988, net migration had been at its post-war peak.

In 1993 Australia's population increased by 170,000 people. Most of this was due to natural increase, the difference between the number of births and the number of deaths. Net overseas migration was responsible for only 34,000 of the increase.

198,000 people moved to Australia in 1993 and 140,000 residents moved away. In addition there was a net effect of 51,000 Australian residents and 29,000 overseas visitors category jumping. The main components of category jumping were Australian residents who left Australia, intending to return within a year, but who stayed away longer, and overseas visitors who stated an intention of staying less than a year, but who had not departed within that year.


Net overseas migration

All movement to and from Australia is classified as permanent, long-term or short-term on the basis of usual residence, visa status, and stated intentions on length of stay. Permanent movement is movement by people who intend to settle in Australia or overseas. Long-term movement is movement by people who intend to stay in Australia or abroad for a period of 12 months or more. Short-term movement is movement by people who intend to stay in Australia or abroad for a period of less than 12 months.

Net overseas migration consists of permanent and long-term arrivals (immigration) less permanent and long-term departures (emigration). However, because people's intentions do not always become reality there is an additional component of net overseas migration, known as category jumping. Category jumping is the net effect of people who stated that their journey was short-term but stayed 12 months or more (therefore becoming permanent or long-term) and people who stated that their movement was permanent or long-term but stayed less than 12 months (therefore becoming short-term). Category jumping has only been included in the net migration figure since 1976.

Category jumping by residents is the difference between the number who leave Australia short-term but who do not return within 12 months and the number who leave Australia intending to stay away for 12 months or more but who return earlier. It is subtracted from the population estimates.

Category jumping by visitors is the difference between the number who intend to stay in Australia short-term but who stay for 12 months or more and the number who intend to stay for 12 months or more but who leave earlier. It is added to the population estimates.

While visitor category jumping may include a component of illegal immigration, many visitors who outstay their original intentions do so legally, either because they are Australian or New Zealand citizens and do not require visas, or because their visa status entitles them to stay for more than a year, or they have been granted a visa extension.


Trends in migration
Immigration to, and emigration from, Australia have grown in the post-war period, although there have been significant fluctuations. In the period there have been three major waves of immigration to Australia, the first peaking in 1950 when 175,000 people migrated to Australia. This was primarily due to the displacement in Europe caused by World War II, and to Australian government policies encouraging growth.

The second significant wave of immigration to Australia peaked in 1970, when 259,000 people migrated to Australia. The third wave of migration peaked in 1988, when 254,000 people migrated to Australia.

Emigration has been much less volatile than immigration. Emigration increased steadily after World War II until 1972. This peak, two years after the peak in immigration, was primarily because large numbers of settlers who arrived in the 1970 wave returned to their country of birth. Emigration peaked again in 1991 and 1992, three to four years after the peak in immigration. In the 1990s there have been record levels of emigration with more than 140,000 departures each year since 1991. This is, in part, due to the high level of immigration in the late 1980s (see Australian Social Trends 1994, Emigration).

Category jumping has become a much larger component of net overseas migration since the late 1980s. The net gain due to category jumping of 24,000 in 1988 was nearly double the previous record net gain of 13,000 in 1977. Similarly, the net loss of 25,000 people through category jumping in 1992 was more than four times the pre-1991 record loss of 4,200 in 1978.

Net overseas migration has been quite volatile in the post-war period. The major fluctuations have generally followed the pattern of immigration with peaks in net migration occurring around the same time as peaks in immigration.

MIGRATION PATTERNS

1988
1993
Migration components
'000
'000

Permanent and long-term movement
    Arrivals
253.9
197.9
    Departures
104.8
140.4
Category jumping(a)
23.7
-23.6
    Visitors
52.3
28.8
    Residents
28.6
50.7
Net overseas migration
172.8
33.9

(a) Components of category jumping do not add to total in 1993 because the net overseas migration is a preliminary estimate used for the population estimates.

Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures; Estimated Resident Population

MAIN COMPONENTS OF NET OVERSEAS MIGRATION



Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures

NET OVERSEAS MIGRATION


Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures


Population distribution

Although internal migration has a major effect on population distribution within Australia (see
Internal migration), overseas migration also has an impact. In 1993 net overseas migration, relative to population, was highest in New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. In that year, New South Wales had 34% of Australia's population and received 44% of the net overseas migration. Western Australia, with 9% of the population, received 16% of net overseas migration. Queensland, however, with 17% of the population, received only 12% of net overseas migration.

It should be noted that state of intended residence is measured by asking people, on arrival, their intended address in Australia. Many people have an address at which they will stay for a short period before moving. Within a year many people will have moved, some interstate. Address of intended residence, therefore, gives a bias towards those areas which have more overseas arrivals, especially Sydney.


In 1993 the Australian Capital Territory attracted 5,300 overseas migrants, representing 18 arrivals per 1,000 population, the highest rate of any state or territory. It also had the highest rates of loss through emigration and category jumping. This resulted in the Australian Capital Territory being the only state to have a net population loss due to overseas migration.


In 1993 Tasmania had the lowest rates of immigration, emigration and loss through category jumping. Total net overseas migration to Tasmania was 109 people, or 0.2 per 1,000 population.

COMPONENTS OF POPULATION GROWTH RATE(a), 1993

Permanent and long-term movement

Natural increase
Arrivals
Departures
Category jumping
Net overseas migration
Internal migration
Total growth
State
rate
rate
rate
rate
rate
rate
rate

New South Wales
7.5
13.8
9.6
-1.7
2.5
-2.7
7.3
Victoria
7.3
10.2
7.3
-1.2
1.7
-7.1
1.9
Queensland
8.6
9.4
6.9
-1.2
1.3
17.3
27.1
South Australia
5.8
6.7
4.8
-0.8
1.2
-2.8
4.2
Western Australia
8.7
13.5
8.6
-1.6
3.2
0.4
12.3
Tasmania
6.4
4.1
3.4
-0.5
0.2
-4.1
2.6
Northern Territory
16.9
7.8
6.3
1.6
3.1
-8.7
11.3
Australian Capital Territory
11.0
17.9
18.1
-1.9
-2.1
5.3
14.2
Australia
7.7
11.3
8.0
-1.3
1.9
. .
9.7
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
Australia
135.8
197.9
140.4
-23.6
33.9
. .
169.7


(a) Rate per 1,000 mid-year population.

Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures



Age and sex structure

Immigrants and emigrants both tend to fall within a fairly narrow age range. 54% of both immigrants and emigrants were aged 15-34 in 1993, compared to 32% in the entire Australian population.


In 1993 the median age of all Australians was 33. The median age of immigrants was 28 and the median age of emigrants was 29. While the numbers of both immigrants and emigrants aged 15-24 were significantly smaller than the numbers aged 25-34, the net migration was larger in the 15-24 years age group (17,000 compared to 14,000).


Overall there were slightly more male immigrants than female (101 males per 100 females), and significantly more male emigrants than female (108 males per 100 females). This resulted in 87 males per 100 females in net overseas migration.


In each age group, the ratio of males per 100 females (sex ratio) was similar for immigrants and emigrants. Up to age 15, there were more males arriving and departing than females, reflecting the proportions of boys and girls in the population. Women outnumbered men in the 15-24 years age groups in both arrivals (87 men per 100 women) and departures (88 men per 100 women).


Between ages 30 and 69 men outnumbered women in both arrivals and departures, with the largest difference among 45-49 year olds, where, for both immigrants and emigrants, there were 138 men per 100 women. After this age, men's shorter life expectancy results in the gradual fall in the ratio of men to women with increasing age. Among immigrants aged 70 and over, there were 80 men per 100 women, and among emigrants, there were 76 men per 100 women.

AGE STRUCTURE OF PERMANENT AND LONG-TERM OVERSEAS MIGRANTS, 1993

Migration
0-4 years
5-14 years
15-24 years
25-34 years
35-44 years
45-54 years
55-64 years
65 years & over
Total
components
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

Arrivals
12.7
21.2
48.5
58.2
30.0
14.3
7.8
5.4
197.9
Departures
9.1
12.5
31.1
44.2
23.3
11.2
5.3
3.9
140.4
Net migration(a)
3.6
8.7
17.4
14.0
6.6
3.1
2.5
1.5
57.5


(a) Excludes category jumping.

Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures

MAIN COMPONENTS OF NET OVERSEAS MIGRATION



(a) Males per 100 females


Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures



Country of birth

In 1993 net migration of New Zealand born people to Australia was 9,300, the highest number of any country. This largely reflects the high level of visitor category jumping and immigration by New Zealand born people. Net category jumping of 7,000 by the New Zealand born was nearly twice the next highest number (China with 3,600). However, the New Zealand born were only the third largest group of permanent and long-term arrivals after the Australian born and the UK and Ireland born.


High levels of net migration from the former Yugoslav Republics and Viet Nam are primarily due to immigration. Net category jumping for each of these countries was just over 1,000. Category jumping by the Vietnamese born resulted in a net loss of population from Australia.


Net migration from the UK and Ireland was only 3,400 despite the UK and Ireland being the second largest source of permanent and long-term arrivals. Category jumping resulted in a net loss of 4,800 people and a further 15,400 people emigrated.


The five countries with the highest levels of net overseas migration were among the ten birthplace groups with the largest populations in Australia. Three of them (UK and Ireland, New Zealand and the Former Yugoslav Republics) were in the top five birthplace groups with populations over 170,000 people.


Overseas migration resulted in a net loss of 14,600 Australian born people from the population. This included 40,300 people who returned to Australia after a year or more overseas, and 49,500 who left the country for a year or more.


After the Australian born, the highest net migration loss was of people born in Japan. Part of this loss can be explained by the high level of net resident category jumping (Australian residents who left short-term but were away 12 months or more outnumbered those Australian residents who left long-term, but returned within 12 months).

NET MIGRATION BY COUNTRY OF BIRTH, 1993

Category jumping

Arrivals
Departures
Visitors
Residents
Net migration
Country of birth
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

Highest net migration
      NZ
12.5
10.2
9.8
2.8
9.3
      Former Yugoslav Republics
5.5
0.8
0.0
-0.7
5.5
      Viet Nam
6.2
0.7
1.2
2.3
4.3
      China
7.3
7.2
3.8
0.2
3.7
      UK & Ireland
23.5
15.4
3.8
8.6
3.4
Lowest net migration
      Australia
40.3
49.5
6.3
11.7
-14.6
      Japan
7.2
5.3
-0.1
3.5
-1.7
      Cyprus
0.3
0.3
0.0
1.0
-1.0
      Germany
2.1
1.3
-1.1
0.7
-0.9
      Israel
0.4
0.3
0.8
-0.1
-0.8


Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures



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