3417.0 - Understanding Migrant Outcomes - Insights from the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset, Australia, 2016  
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

Introduction

The 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID) has been created by linking two rich sources of migrant data together, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2016 Australian Census of Population and Housing and permanent migrant settlement data from the Department of Social Services (DSS). This linked dataset comprises migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016. Note that persons whose Census record indicated that they were an overseas visitor and persons on a Temporary or Bridging visa were excluded from the 2016 ACMID.

The linkage of these two data sources allows for detailed Census information to be cross classified by migrants' entry conditions (e.g. visa status, location onshore or offshore and whether a main or secondary applicant), providing valuable insights into settlement patterns of overseas born persons by visa stream as well as information on citizenship, housing, income, labour force characteristics, changing occupations, educational pathways and family characteristics.


Permanent migrants by visa stream

In 2016, there were 2.2 million permanent migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 in Australia.

These permanent migrants can be categorised into three main visa streams.

  • Skill stream 58% (1,266,580 people)
  • Family stream 32% (683,603 people)
  • Humanitarian stream 10% (214,656 people)

Less than 0.1% (1,179) of permanent migrants held an other permanent visa.

Over half (58%) of permanent migrants were main applicants for a visa (i.e. the person whose skills or proposed activities are assessed by the Department of Home Affairs as part of their visa application), with similar proportions of main applicants in the Skill and Family streams at 48% and 46% respectively.

Overall, 52% of permanent migrants were women, with a higher proportion of women in the Family stream (63%) than the other visa streams, both of which comprised around 48% of women.


GRAPH 1: Permanent migrants(a) by sex and visa stream, 2016

Graph Image for Graph 1

Footnote(s): (a) Migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (Census night).

Source(s): 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset



Permanent migrants were younger than the general population with 85% of permanent migrants within the working age population (15 to 64 years of age). The proportion within the working age group was similar across all three visa streams with Family migrants this highest at 86% followed by Skilled (85%) and Humanitarian migrants (81%).

The highest proportion of children (aged 0 to 14 years) were in the Humanitarian stream (15%), followed by the Skill stream (14%) and Family stream (6%). The highest proportion of people aged 65 years or older were in the Family stream (8%), followed by the Humanitarian and Skill stream with 4% and 1% respectively.

There were differences in the top countries of birth of permanent migrants by visa stream. In 2016, the majority of Skill stream migrants had a country of birth of India (19%) followed by England (13%), China (excluding SARs and Taiwan) (12%), South Africa (6.2%) and the Philippines (5.7%). The top country of birth for Family migrants was China (excluding SARs and Taiwan) (14%), followed by England (8.8%), India (8.3%), Philippines (6.5%) and Vietnam (6.3%). Humanitarian migrants were most likely to be born in Iraq (18%), followed by Afghanistan (12%), Myanmar (8.1%), Iran (6.7%) and Sudan (6.0%).

Graph 2 shows that two thirds (1.4 million) of these permanent migrants were offshore visa applicants. Humanitarian migrants were the most likely to apply offshore (78%), followed by those in the Family stream (72%) and Skill stream (60%).

GRAPH 2: Permanent migrants(a) by onshore and offshore applicant status and visa stream, 2016
Graph Image for Graph 2

Footnote(s): (a) Migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (Census night).

Source(s): 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset


Australian Citizenship by visa stream and country of birth

There is an eligibility period of approximately four years before a permanent resident can apply for Australian Citizenship. Of those permanent migrants who arrived in Australia in 2011 or earlier, 64% were Australian citizens, with Humanitarian migrants having the highest uptake of Australian citizenship at 78%, followed by Skilled (67%) and Family visa holders (53%).

In 2016, of the top ten countries of birth for each visa stream, Humanitarian stream migrants born in South Sudan and Sudan had the highest proportion of Australian citizenship (82% and 81% respectively). For migrants in the Skill stream, those who were born in South Africa reported the highest proportion of Australian citizenship (70%) followed by the Philippines (62%). Over half of Family stream migrants who were born in Lebanon reported being an Australian citizen at 59%, making them the group with the highest uptake in this visa stream.

There are a number of factors that may influence whether a person may or may not become an Australian citizen, such as already having permanent residency status and whether or not their country of birth permits dual citizenship. Skill stream migrants with the lowest rates of Australian citizenship were born in Malaysia (30%) and China (excludes SARs and Taiwan) (36%). Family migrants born in Indonesia had the lowest citizenship take up rate (21%) followed by China (excludes SARs and Taiwan) (27%).

Humanitarian migrants born in Syria (9.5%) and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (42%) reported the lowest proportion of Australian citizenship. However, Humanitarian migrants born in Syria are primarily newly arrived migrants (83% arrived from 2012 to 9 August 2016), so some may not be eligible to apply for citizenship, influencing their citizenship take up rate.

Proficiency in English

In 2016, the majority (73%) of permanent migrants spoke a language other than English at home. Humanitarian migrants were most likely to speak a language other than English at home at 94%, followed by Family (73%) and Skilled (69%) migrants.

Permanent migrants who spoke a language other than English at home generally reported a high level of proficiency in spoken English at 83%. Reflecting the eligibility criteria of migrants who enter Australia under the Skill stream, Skilled migrants had the highest levels of English proficiency at 92%. Those in the Family and Humanitarian streams, who arrive under different eligibility criteria and circumstances, had lower rates of English proficiency at 73% and 66% respectively.

GRAPH 3: Permanent migrants(a) by visa stream and proficiency in spoken English, 2016
Graph Image for Graph 3

Footnote(s): (a) Migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (Census night).

Source(s): 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset


Primary applicant holders were more likely to be proficient in English compared with secondary applicants in both the Skill and Family streams. In contrast, among Humanitarian migrants, 73% of secondary applicants were proficient in English compared with 55% of primary applicants. This difference between primary and secondary applicants is driven by a larger cohort of Humanitarian secondary applicants aged 10 to 29 years, with a higher proportion of people in this age group more likely to report proficiency in English.


Education

In 2016, 70% of permanent migrants aged 15 years and over (who arrived 1 January 2000 to 9 August 2016) held a non-school qualification.

Consistent with the eligibility requirements for applicants in the Skill stream to have skills and qualifications to fill gaps in the labour market, Skilled migrants were the most likely to hold a non-school qualification (79%). Those in the Family stream were less likely to hold a non-school qualification than Skill stream migrants (62%) and Humanitarian migrants were even less likely to hold a non-school qualification (40%), which is consistent with the eligibility criteria for this group (i.e. entry to Australia is granted on humanitarian grounds).

Graph 4 shows that 70% of Skill stream migrants aged 15 years and over who held a non-school qualification had completed a Bachelor Degree or higher, compared with over half of Family stream migrants (55%) and just over a quarter (28%) of Humanitarian stream migrants.

Similar proportions of Humanitarian and Family migrants had attained an Advanced Diploma or Diploma with 21% and 18% respectively. Humanitarian migrants were the most likely to hold a Certificate level qualification at 38%.

GRAPH 4: Permanent migrants(a) aged 15 years and over who held a non-school qualification, Level of non-school qualification (b) by visa stream, 2016
Graph Image for Graph 4

Footnote(s): (a) Migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (Census night). (b) Excludes not applicable.

Source(s): 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset


Labour Force status
There were differences by visa stream in the labour force status of permanent migrants aged 15 years and over (who arrived 1 January 2000 to 9 August 2016).

In 2016, the majority of Skilled migrants aged 15 years and over were in the labour force (83%). This compared with almost two thirds (64%) of Family migrants and about half (48%) of Humanitarian migrants.


GRAPH 5: Permanent migrants(a) aged 15 years and over by Labour Force status and visa stream, 2016
Graph Image for Graph 5

Footnote(s): (a) Migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (Census night).

Source(s): 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset





Of those Skill stream migrants who were in the labour force, 93.3% were employed and 6.7% were unemployed. For Family stream migrants, 89.8% were employed, and 10.2% were unemployed.

Humanitarian migrants in the labour force were less likely than migrants from the other visa streams to have found work with 79.7% employed and 20.3% unemployed. However, Humanitarian migrants (17,837 people) are a relatively small group compared with the other visa streams, representing the smallest proportion of the total unemployed permanent migrant population at 15%.


GRAPH 6: Permanent migrants(a) aged 15 years and over who were in the Labour Force by visa stream, 2016

Graph Image for Graph 6

Footnote(s): (a) Migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (Census night).

Source(s): 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset



Occupation groups

Consistent with their likelihood to have higher educational attainment and their visa eligibility criteria, employed Skill stream migrants aged 15 years and over (who arrived 1 January 2000 to 9 August 2016) were most commonly working in professional occupations in 2016 (35%). Of these, most were working as Health Professionals (9.0%), Business, Human Resource and Marketing Professionals (8.8%) and ICT Professionals (6.6%). Similar proportions of skilled migrants were employed in Managerial roles and as Technicians and Trades Workers at 13% respectively.

Almost one fifth (19%) of employed Family stream migrants were Professionals. A further 16% of family migrants were working as Community and Personal Service Workers, mainly as Carers and Aides (8.0%). The next most common occupation was Labourer (14%).

Humanitarian stream migrants were most commonly employed as Labourers (23%) and Community and Personal Service Workers (19%) (working primarily as Carers and Aides (13%)). A further 17% were working as Technicians and Trades Workers.


GRAPH 7: Employed permanent migrants(a) aged 15 years and over by visa stream and occupation, 2016
Graph Image for Graph 7

Footnote(s): (a) Migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (Census night).

Source(s): 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset


Personal weekly income as at Census

Employed Skill stream migrants aged 15 years and over (who arrived 1 January 2000 to 9 August 2016) generally reported higher weekly incomes in 2016 Census than their employed Family and Humanitarian stream counterparts.

Employed permanent migrants most commonly reported earning weekly incomes of $650 - $999 per week. The highest proportion earning this amount were migrants in the Humanitarian stream at 36%, followed by those in the Family stream (29%) and Skill stream (21%).

Over one quarter (27%) of employed Humanitarian migrants had comparatively low weekly incomes of $300 - $649 per week, compared with 22% of Family migrants and 13% of Skilled migrants.

Over one third (35%) of employed Skill stream migrants had incomes exceeding $1,500 per week compared with 18% of employed Family migrants and 7.3% of employed Humanitarian migrants.


GRAPH 8: Employed permanent migrants(a) aged 15 years and over, Individual weekly income by visa stream, 2016



Australian Bureau of Statistics
Commonwealth of Australia 2018.

Footnote(s): (a) Migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (Census night).
Source: 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset


Home ownership

In 2016, over half (54%) of permanent migrants aged 15 years and over (who arrived 1 January 2000 to 9 August 2016) owned their own home outright or with a mortgage, while 42% were renting.

Over half of Family and Skill stream migrants owned their own home outright or with a mortgage (58% and 57% respectively), compared with almost one third of Humanitarian migrants who owned their own home outright or with a mortgage.

Family stream migrants had the highest incidence of outright home ownership at 14%, followed by Skill stream (8.0%) and Humanitarian stream migrants (4.7%),

Most Humanitarian stream migrants lived in rented accommodation at 63%, compared with about 40% of Skill and Family stream migrants who were renters.


GRAPH 9: Permanent migrants(a) aged 15 years and over by tenure type and visa stream, 2016

Graph Image for Graph 9

Footnote(s): (a) Migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (Census night). (b) Excludes not applicable.

Source(s): 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset



Place of usual residence one year ago

In 2016, one in five (20%) permanent migrants (who were granted a permanent visa between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016) reported that they had changed their address within Australia in the year prior to the 2016 Census.

Migrants who changed address tended to stay within the same Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA) (86%). Greater Perth had the highest proportion of movements within the same GCCSA with 93% of movements remaining within Greater Perth, followed by Greater Sydney (92%) and Greater Adelaide (89%).

The majority of these movements by migrants took place in Greater Sydney and Greater Melbourne with 96,455 migrants who resided in Greater Sydney moving to another location within Greater Sydney and 86,633 migrants who resided in Greater Melbourne who moved to another location within Greater Melbourne.

  • Greater Melbourne was the most common destination gaining 12,431 movers, including 2,769 migrants from Greater Sydney, 1,639 migrants from Greater Perth and 1,579 migrants from Greater Adelaide.
  • Greater Sydney was the second most common destination gaining 8,780 movers, including 1,798 migrants from Rest of New South Wales, 1,762 migrants from Greater Melbourne and 1,325 migrants from Greater Perth.

Graph 10 below shows the largest movements of permanent migrants in the one year prior to 2016 Census to a different GCCSA (i.e. to another capital city or regional area).

GRAPH 10: Permanent migrants(a) by largest movement one year ago to a different Greater Capital City Statistical Area, 2016

Graph Image for Graph 10

Footnote(s): (a) Migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (Census night).

Source(s): 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset


Notes on the data

Estimates in this publication are produced using the 2016 Census year of arrival variable (YARP). The year of arrival question on the Census asks overseas-born people to report the year they first arrived in Australia with the intention of staying for at least one year. For some individuals, the Census year of arrival (i.e. the year the person first arrived in Australia to live here for one year or more) may have occurred many years before their arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa as reported in the Permanent Migrant Data (i.e. 1 January 2000 to 9 August 2016). Where the Census year of arrival precedes that of the Permanent Migrant Data, it is likely that the person was a temporary migrant for a period of time before attaining permanent resident status. Consequently, some permanent migrants reported on the Census that they first came to Australia to live for one year or more in the years prior to 2000.

The 2016 ACMID is the second edition in this series. See this link to the first edition 2011 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service.

Phone: 1300 135 070

Fax: 1300 135 211

Email: client.services@abs.gov.au