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3412.0.55.001 - Information Paper: Improving Net Overseas Migration Estimation, Mar 2010  
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GLOSSARY

12/12 month rule

A method for measuring an overseas traveller's duration of stay or absence in which the 12 month usual residence criterion in population estimates is measured across a 12 month period. Under a 12/12 month rule, overseas travellers must be resident in Australia for a continuous 12 month period or more to be included in the estimated resident population. Similarly, Australian residents travelling overseas must be absent from Australia for a continuous 12 month period or more to be removed from the estimated resident population.

12/16 month rule

A method for measuring an overseas traveller's duration of stay or absence which takes an approach to measure usual residence that does not have to be continuous, as opposed to the continuous approach used under a 12/12 month rule. Under a 12/16 month rule, overseas travellers must have been resident in Australia for a total period of 12 months or more, during the 16 month follow-up period to be included in the estimated resident population.

The 12/16 month rule therefore takes account of those persons who may have left Australia briefly and returned, while still being resident for 12 months out of 16. Similarly, it takes account of Australians who live most of the time overseas but periodically return to Australia for short periods.

Australian resident

For estimated resident population statistics, the Census year population estimates classify a person as an Australian resident if the person has (in the most recent Census) reported a usual address in Australia where the person has lived or intends to live for six months or more in the Census year. The post-censal estimates, while based on the Census data, are updated with international migration data that have a criterion of one year or more of intended stay in or departure from Australia.

Category of movement

Category of movement is of particular relevance to the overseas arrivals and departures (OAD) collection. OAD are classified according to length of stay (in Australia or overseas), as recorded by travellers on passenger cards or derived with reference to previous border crossings. There are three main categories of movement and 10 sub-categories:

  • permanent movement:
      • permanent arrival (PA);
      • permanent departure (PD);
  • long-term movement — has a duration of stay (or absence) of one year or more:
      • long-term resident returning (LTRR);
      • long-term visitor arrival (LTVA);
      • long-term resident departure (LTRD);
      • long-term visitor departure (LTVD);
  • short-term movement — has a duration of stay (or absence) of less than one year:
      • short-term resident returning (STRR);
      • short-term visitor arrival (STVA);
      • short-term resident departure (STRD); and
      • short-term visitor departure (STVD).

A significant number of travellers (i.e. overseas visitors to Australia on arrival and Australian residents going abroad) state exactly 12 months or one year as their intended period of stay. Many stay for less than that period and on their departure from, or return to, Australia are therefore classified as short-term. Accordingly, in an attempt to maintain consistency between arrivals and departures, movements of travellers who report their actual or intended period of stay as being one year exactly are randomly allocated to long-term or short-term in proportion to the number of movements of travellers who report their actual length of stay as up to one month more, or one month less, than one year.

Emigration

The process of leaving one country to take up permanent or semi-permanent residence in another.

Estimated resident population (ERP)

The official measure of the population of Australia is based on the concept of residence. It refers to all people, regardless of nationality or citizenship, who usually live in Australia, with the exception of foreign diplomatic personnel and their families. It includes usual residents who are overseas for less than 12 out of 16 months. It excludes overseas visitors who are in Australia for less than 12 out of 16 months.

Initial category of travel

Predominantly used to assist in the estimation of preliminary net overseas migration (NOM). Like category of movement, all overseas arrivals and departures are classified according to length of stay (in Australia or overseas), as recorded by travellers on passenger cards or derived with reference to previous border crossings. However, unlike the category of movement, all travellers are assigned to one, and only one, initial category of travel during the reference quarter. This removes the potential for a traveller to be included more than once in different categories of travel if they have made multiple overseas movements during the reference quarter.

For the purposes of estimating NOM, the rule used to assign an initial category of travel to each traveller is as follows:
  • Travellers who have any permanent or long-term movement (one year or more) recorded during the reference quarter have their last permanent/ long-term movement assigned as their initial category of travel;
  • Travellers who only have a history of short-term movements (less than one year) recorded during the reference quarter have their first movement assigned as their initial category of travel.

For the purposes of calculating NOM there are three main initial categories of travel and 10 sub-categories:
  • permanent traveller:
      • permanent arrival (PA);
      • permanent departure (PD);
  • long-term traveller — has a duration of stay (or absence) of one year or more:
      • long-term resident returning (LTRR);
      • long-term visitor arrival (LTVA);
      • long-term resident departure (LTRD);
      • long-term visitor departure (LTVD);
  • short-term traveller — has a duration of stay (or absence) of less than one year:
      • short-term resident returning (STRR);
      • short-term visitor arrival (STVA);
      • short-term resident departure (STRD); and
      • short-term visitor departure (STVD).

Immigration

The process of entering one country from another to take up permanent or semi-permanent residence.

Long-term arrivals

Long-term arrivals comprise:
  • overseas visitors who state that they intend to stay in Australia for 12 months or more (but not permanently)
  • Australian residents returning after an absence of 12 months or more overseas

Long-term departures

Long-term departures comprise:
  • Australian residents who state that they intend to stay abroad for 12 months or more (but not permanently)
  • overseas visitors departing who stayed 12 months or more in Australia.

Migration

The movement of people across a specified boundary for the purpose of establishing a new or semi-permanent residence. Migration can be international (migration between countries) and internal (migration within a country).

Migration adjustment

The ABS applies a number of adjustments to overseas arrivals and departures data in order to produce estimates of net overseas migration (NOM). These mainly comprise adjustments designed to reflect differences between stated travel intentions and actual travel behaviour, but also include adjustments to transform numbers of overseas movements into numbers of travellers. Migration adjustments replaced the 'category jumping' adjustments previously applied to NOM estimates prior to September quarter 2006.

Natural increase

Excess of births over deaths.

Net interstate migration (NIM)

The difference between the number of persons who have changed their place of usual residence by moving into a given state or territory and the number who have changed their place of usual residence by moving out of that state or territory. This difference can be either positive or negative.

Net overseas migration (NOM)

Net overseas migration is the net gain or loss of population through immigration to Australia and emigration from Australia. It is:
  • based on an international traveller's duration of stay being in or out of Australia for 12 months or more
  • the difference between the number of incoming travellers who stay in Australia for 12 months or more and are added to the population (NOM arrivals) and the number of outgoing travellers who leave Australia for 12 months or more and are subtracted from the population (NOM departures).

Under the current method for estimating final net overseas migration this term is based on a traveller's actual duration of stay or absence using the 12/16 rule. Preliminary NOM estimates are modelled on patterns of traveller behaviours observed in final NOM estimates for the corresponding quarter one year earlier.

NOM arrivals

NOM arrivals are all overseas arrivals that contribute to net overseas migration (NOM). It is the number of incoming international travellers who stay in Australia for 12 months or more and are added to the population.

Under the current method for estimating final net overseas migration this term is based on a travellers' actual duration of stay or absence using the 12/16 rule.

NOM departures

NOM departures are all overseas departures that contribute to net overseas migration (NOM). It is the number of outgoing international travellers (Australian residents and long term visitors to Australia) who leave Australia for 12 months or more and are subtracted from the population.

Under the current method for estimating final net overseas migration this term is based on a travellers' actual duration of stay or absence using the 12/16 rule.

Overseas arrivals and departures (OAD)

Overseas arrivals and departures (OAD) refer to the recorded arrival or departure of persons through Australian air or sea ports (excluding operational air and ships' crew). Statistics on OAD relate to the number of movements of travellers rather than the number of travellers (i.e. the multiple movements of individual persons during a given reference period are all counted).

Overseas migration

See Net overseas migration (NOM).

Overseas migration adjustment

See Migration adjustment.

Permanent arrivals

Permanent arrivals (settlers) comprise:
  • travellers who hold migrant visas (regardless of stated intended period of stay);
  • New Zealand citizens who indicate an intention to migrate permanently; and
  • those who are otherwise eligible to settle (e.g. overseas-born children of Australian citizens).

This definition of settlers is used by DIAC. Prior to 1985 the definition of settlers used by the ABS was the stated intention of the traveller only. Numerically the effect of the change in definition is insignificant. The change was made to avoid the confusion caused by minor differences between data on settlers published separately by the ABS and DIAC.

Permanent departures

Permanent departures are Australian residents (including former settlers) who on departure state that they are departing permanently.

Population growth

For Australia, population growth is the sum of natural increase and net overseas migration. For states and territories, population growth also includes net interstate migration. After the Census, intercensal population growth also includes an allowance for intercensal discrepancy.

Short-term arrivals

Short-term arrivals comprise:
  • overseas visitors who intend to stay in Australia for less than 12 months
  • Australian residents returning after a stay of less than 12 months overseas.

Short-term departures

Short-term departures comprise:
  • Australian residents who intend to stay abroad for less than 12 months
  • overseas visitors departing after a stay of less than 12 months in Australia.

State or territory of usual residence

Refers to the Australian state or territory of usual residence of the estimated resident population.

In the case of overseas movements, state or territory of usual residence refers to the state or territory regarded by the traveller as the one in which he/she lives, has lived or intends to live. For example, state or territory of intended residence is derived from the intended address given by settlers or visitor, and by Australian residents returning after a journey abroad. Particularly in the case of the former, this information does not necessarily relate to the state or territory in which the traveller will eventually establish a permanent residence.

Usual residence

Usual residence within Australia refers to that address at which the person has lived or intends to live for a total of six months or more in a given reference year.


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