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1345.4 - SA Stats, Apr 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/04/2008   
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SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S MIGRANT POPULATION

Throughout this article, a person born overseas will be referred to as a migrant.


OVERVIEW

The cultural mix of South Australia's population is an important aspect of community life in South Australia. From 1986 to 2006, the number of South Australian migrants increased slightly but as a proportion of the total South Australian population they decreased. In 2006, there were 307,679 migrants living in South Australia (Census of Population and Housing 2006). Over the 20 years from 1986 to 2006, the number of migrants living in South Australia increased 3.2%. However, this was significantly lower than the population growth rate of persons born in Australia which increased 8.4% during the same period.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S POPULATION - 1986 to 2006

Born overseas

Born in Australia

Total population (a)

no.
% change
no.
% change
no.
% change
1986
298,257
-
1,033,166
-
1,348,047
-
1991
312,184
4.6%
1,074,140
4.0%
1,408,638
4.5%
1996
305,524
-2.1%
1,088,580
1.3%
1,437,193
2.0%
2001
299,109
-2.1%
1,107,436
1.7%
1,470,057
2.3%
2006
307,679
2.9%
1,120,085
1.1%
1,514,336
3.0%

(a) Includes country of birth not stated.
Source: Census of Population and Housing, data available on request


Due to the slower population growth rate of migrants in South Australia compared to Australian born, the proportion of South Australia's population who are migrants decreased from 1986 to 2006. Since 1986, the proportion of South Australians who were migrants has reduced from 22.1% in 1986 to 20.3% in 2006. Nationally, the proportion of the population born overseas has increased from 20.8% in 1986 to 22.2% in 2006.

MIGRANTS, Proportion of total population
Graph: Migrants, proportion of total population
Source: Census of Population and Housing, data available on request


The growth of the migrant population in South Australia has not kept pace with that of persons born in Australia. This article analyses the components of population change that affect the rate of growth of the migrant population in South Australia; namely,the age profile of migrants (and hence the death rate), overseas migration and interstate migration.


AGE PROFILE OF MIGRANTS

The age profile of migrants in South Australia is older than South Australians who were born in Australia. In results for the 2006 Census, the median age of Australian-born South Australians was 39 years, whilst the median age of migrants in South Australia was 52 years.

Accordingly, the distribution of the migrant population in South Australia across age categories is more concentrated in older age categories than Australian-born South Australians. Nearly half (45.0%) of South Australian migrants were in the 55 years and over age group. This is more than double the proportion of Australian-born persons in the state within this age group (21.7%).

PROPORTIONS WITHIN EACH AGE GROUP, Migrants and persons born in Australia,
South Australia - 2006
Graph: Proportions within each age group, migrants and persons born in Australia, South Australia - 2006
Source: Census of Population and Housing 2006, Census Tables


It is not unexpected to see small proportions of the migrant population in the younger age groups. Only children who immigrate to Australia with their parents will be shown in these younger age groups. Children who are born to migrants once they arrive in Australia are included in the 'Australian born' category.

The present age structure of migrants in South Australia is also indicative of the history of migration to South Australia. In 2006, the year of arrival reported by migrants in the Census of Population and Housing clearly shows that most migrants residing in South Australia arrived between the late 1940's to early 1970's. However, recent changes to immigration policies have caused a steep increase in the number of migrants arriving in South Australia.

YEAR OF ARRIVAL IN AUSTRALIA, Persons born overseas, South Australia - 1940-2005
Graph: Year of arrival in Australia, persons born overseas, South Australia - 1940-2005
Source: Census of Population and Housing 2006, Census Tables


Due to their age profile, migrants in South Australia have a higher crude death rate than Australian-born residents. According to ABS data (available on request), there were 3,872 deaths of people born overseas registered in South Australia in the calendar year of 2006. This equated to a crude death rate of 12.6 deaths per 1,000 South Australian migrants. Conversely, there were 8,022 Australian-born South Australians who died in 2006; a crude death rate of 7.2 deaths per 1,000 South Australian Australian-born.


OVERSEAS MIGRATION

This section of the article provides an overview of the number of people who have migrated to South Australia (referred to by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship as settler arrivals) and the number of people who have emigrated from South Australia.

In 2006-07, there were 10,061 settler arrivals in South Australia. As shown in the graph below, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of settler arrivals in South Australia over the last few years. This is primarily due to increased migrant quotas for the Australian migration program and changes to immigration policy (www.diac.gov.au). Overseas residents (other than Australian and New Zealand citizens) who wish to live permanently in Australia are required to apply for a visa. Changes to immigration policy in recent years have made it easier for people to migrate to South Australia (including Adelaide). This is because South Australia is classified a 'low population growth' region, thus requiring lower point quotas for entry into South Australia compared with some other Australian locations (http://www.immi.gov.au/index.htm).


Not only have the number of settler arrivals to South Australia increased in recent years, South Australia is attracting a larger share of Australian settler arrivals. South Australia's share of all settler arrivals in Australia has increased significantly over the last 5 years from 3.0% in 2000-01 to 7.2% in 2006-07.

SETTLER ARRIVALS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA, Proportion of all settler arrivals in Australia
Graph: Settler arrivals in South Australia, proportion of all settler arrivals in Australia
Sources: Department of Immigration and Citizenship- Settler Arrivals 2005-06(PDF 706KB), Department of Immigration and Citizenship - Settler Arrivals 2006-07(PDF 492KB)


According to DIAC, the number of permanent departures of overseas born people from South Australia in 2006-07 was 1,080 persons. This was slightly down from the 1,124 overseas-born persons who left South Australia for overseas in 2005-06 Department of Immigration and Citizenship - Settler Arrivals 2006-07(PDF 491.17KB)). Settler arrival data thus demonstrates a recent steep increase in intake figures while available data for permanent departures have remained relatively stable. As a result, the net gain of migrants from overseas migration is increasing which may alleviate the declining representation of migrants as a proportion of the total South Australian population.


INTERSTATE MIGRATION

Historically, South Australia experiences a net loss of its population due to interstate migration. This is also true of the migrant population of South Australia. The net loss of migrants due to interstate migration is a contributing factor to the slow growth rate of that population group in South Australia.

Census figures for 2006 indicate that in the previous 5 years a total of 8,848 migrants moved to South Australia from other Australian states. However, 11,261 migrants moved out of South Australia to interstate locations within that time, resulting in a net migrant loss for 2001 to 2006 of 2,413 persons. This is a significant improvement from the net loss of 7,753 migrants in the five year period prior to the 1996 Census.

INTERSTATE MIGRATION OF MIGRANTS, South Australia - 1986 to 2006

1986

1991

1996

2001

2006

Arrivals from other states
11,077
11,505
10,348
9,310
8,848
Departures to other states
14,556
13,344
18,101
12,517
11,261
Net interstate migration
-3,479
-1,839
-7,753
-3,207
-2,413


Source: Census of Population and Housing, data available on request


CONCLUSION

As demonstrated in this article, the migrant population in South Australia has a much older age profile than Australian born residents leading to a higher crude death rate. Over the last twenty years, the number of migrants living in South Australia has increased slightly, but as a proportion of the total population they have decreased. However, there has been a recent increase in the number of settler arrivals in South Australia and the net loss of migrants through interstate migration appears to be slowing. This may result in the current trend of a declining proportion of migrants in our population being slowed, or even reversed.


REFERENCES:

ABS, Census of Population and Housing 2006, Census Tables <http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/d3310114.nsf/Home/census>
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 2006, Settler Arrivals 2005-06, viewed 21 April 2008, <http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/statistics/immigration-update/Settler_Arrivals0506.pdf> (PDF 706KB)
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 2007, Settler Arrivals 2006-07, viewed 21 April 2008, <http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/statistics/settler-arrivals/settler-arrivals-0607.pdf> (PDF 492KB)


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