3418.0 - Personal Income of Migrants, Australia, Experimental, 2009-10 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/09/2015  First Issue
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INTRODUCTION

For the first time, this release presents detailed information on the sources of personal income that migrants received for 2009-10 including employee income, own unincorporated business income, investment income, other income and foreign income by characteristics such as visa stream, applicant status and location of visa application.

The source of this information, the 2009-10 Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID) has been developed with the support of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and the Department of Social Services (DSS). This initiative demonstrates the power of data sharing and data integration in strengthening the evidence base to support stronger policy development, program delivery and research.

These statistics have been compiled by linking individual taxpayer unit record data from the ATO and migrant settlement records from the DSS Settlement Database (SDB). These statistics relate to migrants aged 15 years and over, with a permanent or provisional visa who arrived after 1 January 2000. This release contains several themes emerging from the 2009-10 PITMID data to enable better understanding of variations in income, across and within the Skilled, Family and Humanitarian visa streams.

The results of these studies are based, in part, on tax data supplied by the ATO to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) under the Taxation Administration Act 1953, which requires that such data is only used for the purpose of administering the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and is not related to the ability of the data to support the ATO's core operational requirements.

Legislative requirements to ensure privacy and secrecy of this data have been adhered to. In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, results have been confidentialised to ensure that they are not likely to enable identification of a particular person or organisation. Both the ATO and the ABS handle personal information contained in the data in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988.

Data provided to the ABS by the ATO are from taxation returns processed up to 16 months after the end of the financial year (i.e. returns processed up to 31 October 2011 for the financial year ending 30 June 2010).

When interpreting these results, it should be noted that for the purposes of providing statistical measures for the entire population, the ATO database has some limits to its coverage. Persons who receive an income below the tax-free threshold ($6,000 in 2009-10) are not necessarily required to lodge a tax return and this can include persons who derive their income from government pensions and allowances. In addition, some Australian Government pension, benefit and allowance payments are exempt from income tax and therefore recipients are not required to include this income in their taxation returns. Consequently, the coverage of low income earners is incomplete and Government pensions and allowances are excluded from the data presented in this publication. Sources and methods for including more complete Government pensions and allowances information from other administrative DSS datasets are being considered for future iterations of this project.

It should be noted that 2009-10 PITMID data on the personal income of migrants are unique and differ from the ATO statistics produced for the total Australian taxpayer population as well as the aggregate PIT data presented in Wage and Salary Earner Statistics for Small Areas (cat. no. 5673.0.55.003) and the Estimates of Personal Income for Small Areas (cat. no. 6524.0.55.002) (see Explanatory Notes). When presenting statistics on income created from unit record data such as 2009-10 PITMID, the ABS uses medians to measure the midpoint of the data (as income data is usually skewed). While the majority of this release displays medians, comparison with data from the 2009-10 PITMID to the aggregate PIT data in the two releases mentioned above, necessitates the use of averages in Tables 21 and 22 of the Data cube included in this release.

This release is also accompanied by a Glossary, Explanatory Notes and detailed Data Item List.


MIGRANTS PERSONAL INCOME IN 2009-10

Australia's future economy and society are continuously shaped through migration, citizenship and the protection of refugees and people in humanitarian need (DIBP, 2014a). From 2000-01 to 2012-13 approximately 1.8 million migrants entered Australia under the Australian Government Migration Programme, with 1.2 million (65%) in the Skilled stream and 631,500 (34%) in the Family stream. In addition, there were over 178,000 Humanitarian Programme visa grants during this period (DIBP, 2015). In 2009-10, 168,623 migrants entered Australia under the Migration Programme, (107,868 Skilled stream, 60,254 Family stream) with the majority of these from United Kingdom, China and India (DIAC, 2010a). A total of 13,757 Humanitarian visas were also granted in 2009-10 (DIAC, 2015).

The 2009-10 PITMID data showed that 794,305 migrants who had been granted a permanent visa since 1 January 2000 submitted a tax return. Almost two-thirds (63%) held a Skilled stream visa, 28% held a Family stream visa and 4.0% held a Humanitarian stream visa.

The total income of migrant taxpayers in the 2009-10 financial year was $37.7 billion. Almost 55% of migrant taxpayers were males who reported $24.4 billion of total income, while females reported $13.3 billion. Most were primary applicants (75%) and there were similar proportions of onshore and offshore applicants.

Employee income contributed 92% to total income, of which $25.5 billion was reported by migrants from the Skilled visa stream. Their average Employee income was about $5,000 higher than the national average of $48,907 for all Australian taxpayers. In contrast, Family and Humanitarian migrants average Employee incomes were well below the national average ($37,520 and $24,725 respectively).

Gender is one significant factor influencing the level of income of migrants. Almost 60% of migrants with a taxable income who are primary applicants are male. Males have higher average and median incomes than females irrespective of whether a primary or a secondary applicant. However, almost half of all migrant taxpayers reporting income are female at 45%. The highest proportion of female migrants were in the Family stream (56%), followed by the Skilled stream (42%) and the Humanitarian stream (33%).

Of those migrants who reported receiving Own unincorporated business income, two-thirds were males who reported 77% ($1.4 billion) of this form of income. Migrants also reported $327 million in Other income*, with males receiving 70% of this income. Migrants aged 55 years and over had the highest median Other income, with the median income of males in this age group double that of females ($15,434 compared with $7,477).

In contrast, females reported receiving over half of Investment income ($561.0 million). Females aged 55 years and over had the highest median Investment income ($2,335).

The following table presents a summary of the total personal income reported by migrants in 2009-10.

Table 1: Migrants, Summary of Total Income Sources, 2009-10 - Australia

Persons
Total income(a)
Median income
% of Total income
Sources of income
No.
$b
$
%

Employee income
736 252
36.4
37 043
91.7
Own unincorporated business income
99 462
1.8
8 606
4.8
Investment income
434 624
1.0
184
2.7
Other income (excl. Government pensions and allowances)(b)
46 888
0.3
287
0.9
Total income (excl. Government pensions and allowances)(a)(c)
794 305
37.7
36 518
100.0

(a) Persons may have more than one source of income.
(b) Includes Superannuation and annuities and Other sources of income. Data for superannuation and annuities are understated. See Explanatory Notes for more information.
(c) Totals may not exactly match the sum of components due to rounding.
Source: Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID), 2009-10


Migrant taxpayers’ average total income was lower than the Australian (migrant and non-migrant) taxpayer population for all but two states (Queensland and Tasmania). This difference was most pronounced in the ACT where migrants received, on average, $12,177 less total income than the Australian taxpayer population in this state, mainly due to receiving lower employee income. In Queensland and Tasmania migrants recorded higher than average investment and own unincorporated business income.

One-third of migrant taxpayers recorded a taxable income in the lowest decile of the income distribution (i.e. less than $22,229) compared with only 10% of the total Australian taxpayer population.

Migrants reported receiving $388 million of foreign income in 2009-10. A third of migrants reporting foreign income had taxable incomes between $6,001 and $35,000. Just over a quarter of this foreign income was reported by only 8.5% of migrants with taxable incomes of $180,000 or more.


SKILLED MIGRANTS

Over the last 10-20 years, Australian migration policy has increasingly focused on attracting skilled migrants to fill skill shortages in Australia. Graph 1 below illustrates the trends in migration levels of the Skilled, Family and Humanitarian streams since 1983-84. In 2009-10, migrants with a Skilled stream visa comprised 60% of all permanent residency visa granted under the Migration and Humanitarian Programmes (DIBP, 2015).

GRAPH 1: MIGRANTS, Migration and Humanitarian programme outcome, By Visa stream, 1990-91 to 2009-10
Graph Image for Graph 1

Source(s): Historical migration statistics, Department of Immigration and Border Protection


The Australian Government's skilled migration programmes target high quality migrants who use their skills and attributes to contribute directly to Australia’s economic, demographic and social well-being. The Skilled stream allows for the entry of employer sponsored workers as well as those who qualify independently (DIBP, 2014). Skilled migrants are generally well educated and have relatively high levels of English proficiency, even when emigrating from countries where English is a second language. Proficiency in English can also be a criterion for applying for a visa and an important pre-requisite to gaining employment in the labour market.

In 2009-10, there were 503,533 Skilled migrant taxpayers. They reported receiving $27.5 billion (73%) of migrant income from all sources. Skilled primary applicants reported $21.3 billion in income. Graph 2 below shows the proportion of each type of income for primary and secondary applicants for each of the visa streams.

Almost two-thirds of all migrants with Employee income were from the Skilled visa stream. They recorded Employee income of $25.5 billion and had a median income of $44,287.

Skilled secondary applicants had the third highest proportion of Investment income (28%) and received 16% of Employee income. According to the Continuous Survey of Australia’s Migrants (CSAM) one explanation for such positive economic outcomes for secondary Skilled migrants is that Skilled stream professionals are more likely to partner with another professional. Results indicated that in terms of skilled migration 'this means that we are often getting two skilled migrants for the price of one, i.e. the partner [secondary applicant] has similar levels of skills as the primary applicant' (DIAC, 2010).

GRAPH 2: MIGRANTS, Proportion of migrant income, By source of income, Visa stream and Applicant status, 2009-10
Graph Image for Graph 2

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Superannuation and annuities.

Source(s): Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID), 2009-10


A higher proportion of Skilled males (58%) than Skilled females (42%) reported receiving Employee income. Skilled males recorded $17.1 billion, more than double the Employee income reported by Skilled females ($8.4 billion). The median Employee income of Skilled males exceeded Skilled females for all age groups.

These findings are consistent with the May 2010, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours that found that whilst the proportions of male and female employees was similar, the 'average weekly total earnings for all employees jobs' figure for male employees was $1,183.40 while female employees was $765.30 (ABS, 2010). It should be noted that there are a number of inter-related factors other than gender which are known to influence the level of earnings of males and females. Research has shown that differences in working arrangements, for example, part-time vs full-time, industry of employment and job history impacts the income males and females receive. For example, data from the February 2014 Labour Force Survey shows that the major occupation groups Sales Workers, and Community and Personal Service Workers, had the majority of people employed part-time (56% and 51% respectively). These two major occupation groups also have a relatively high proportion of females (ABS, 2014). Other information such as full-time and part-time employment status and employment history data would enable a more fulsome analysis and identification of the key factors influencing the identified difference between the income levels of male and female migrants, information which is not currently available in the PITMID or other individual ABS datasets.

Most Skilled stream migrants were between 25 to 44 years old in 2009-10. They generated 77% ($21.2 billion) of total Skilled income. Graph 3 below clearly illustrates that Skilled males aged 35 to 44 years had the highest median Employee income ($65,713).

In contrast, Skilled female median Employee income plateaus at just under $40,000 for each 10-year age grouping between 25 to 54 years before dropping to $30,500 for those over 55 years of age. The highest median Employee income for Skilled females was $39,909 for those aged 45 to 54 years.

GRAPH 3: SKILLED MIGRANTS, Median employee income, By Age group and Sex, 2009-10
Graph Image for Graph 3

Source(s): Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID), 2009-10


Skilled migrants were responsible for generating 66% ($1.2 billion) of total Own unincorporated business income. The vast majority of Own unincorporated business income was reported by Skilled males with $928.1 million or 79%. Skilled males aged 25 to 44 years reported $671.7 million (57%) of this Own unincorporated business income and Skilled females in the same age group $198.1 million (17%).

Skilled migrants reported $644.4 million in Investment income or 64% of the total. Skilled migrants aged 35 to 44 years were responsible for the highest proportion of Skilled Investment income (39%) followed by those aged 45 to 54 years (27%).

Whilst there were a smaller proportion of female Skilled migrant investors (44%), they generated over half of Skilled Investment income with $326.2 million.

Skilled migrants recorded $156.0 million in total Other income. Just over 60% were male Skilled migrants who received $115.2 million in Other income.

Skilled migrants in the 45 to 54 age bracket reported the highest proportion of Other income at 34% ($53.0 million).

The following graph shows Own unincorporated business income, Investment income and Other income of Skilled migrants by age and gender.

GRAPH 4: SKILLED MIGRANTS, Proportion of Own unincorporated business, Investment and Other income, By Age group and Sex, 2009-10
Bar chart showing proportion of Own unincoporated business, Investment and Other Income of Skilled migrants by age group and sex



FAMILY MIGRANTS

The Family stream of the Migration Programme facilitates the reunion of Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens with their immediate family members overseas. Whilst providing the social benefit of family reunification, there are also wider benefits in terms of these family members providing a contribution to the Australian economy through employment and to the Australian population through births (DIBP, 2014). In 2009-10, migrants with a Family stream visa comprised 33% of all permanent residency visas granted under the Migration and Humanitarian Programmes (DIBP, 2015).

In 2009-10, the 220,768 Family stream migrants generated a total income of $8.4 billion or 22% of total migrant income. Most of the Family migrants were aged 25 to 44 years (71%) with total reported income of $6.5 billion. There were fewer males than females at 44%, but females had considerably lower median incomes.

Family stream migrants accounted for 27% of all Employee income earners and $7.4 billion (22%) in Employee income. Males aged 35 and 44 years had a much higher median Employee income ($49,475) than females ($28,255) (see Graph 5). Therefore, while the number of Family stream migrants reporting Employee income in this age category was fairly similar for both sexes, males reported almost twice as much Family Employee income ($1.5 billion or 21%) than females.

GRAPH 5: FAMILY MIGRANTS, Median employee income, By Age group and Sex, 2009-10
Graph Image for Graph 5

Source(s): Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID), 2009-10


Almost a third of all migrants who earned Own unincorporated business income were Family stream migrants. In total they received $486.7 million (27%). Males aged 25 to 44 years received the most with $259.5 million compared with females who received $113.4 million.

Females reported far more Investment income than males. Despite making up 58% of Family migrants reporting Investment income, females reported 66% of the total Investment income. Females aged 25 to 44 years reported the most with $142.0 million in Investment income or 41% of that type of income. This exceeded the Investment income of all Family stream males at $119.3 million or 34%.

Family migrants were the highest earners of Other income. They received a total of $167.3 million, with most reported by primary applicants. The majority of this income was reported by Family migrants aged 55 years and over, with males responsible for $84.5 million or 51%.

The following graph shows Own unincorporated business income, Investment income and Other income of Family migrants by age and gender.

GRAPH 6: FAMILY MIGRANTS, Proportion of Own unincorporated business, Investment and Other income, By Age group and Sex, 2009-10

Bar chart showing proportion of Own unincoporated business, Investment and Other Income of Family migrants by age group and sex



HUMANITARIAN MIGRANTS

Due to their unique circumstances, humanitarian migrants are often considered to be a special needs group requiring specific policy responses and programs. Due to small population size this is also a migrant group for which much less data is available, especially on income compared with migrants in the other visa streams. They comprised only 7.5% of all permanent residency visas granted in the 2009-10 financial year (DIBP, 2015).

The majority of humanitarian and refugee migrants come from countries for which English is a second language. For many of these migrants, entering the labour force can be more difficult due to lower levels of English language proficiency. Difficulties in gaining employment may also be further compounded by factors other than language, such as work experience, educational and skill levels.

Recent research into the economic, social and civic contribution of first and second generation humanitarian migrants and data from the 2011 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID) confirms higher rates of unemployment for migrants who indicated that they spoke English "Not well" or "Not at all" (DSS, 2014). Data from the 2011 ACMID also shows that of the permanent migrants who arrived between 2000 and 2011, only 3.9% of those not proficient in spoken English earned $52,000 or more per annum compared with 28% who were proficient (MCA, 2015).

There were 31,728 Humanitarian migrants, representing 4.0% of all migrant taxpayers in 2009-10. Humanitarian migrants generated 2.4% or $888.8 million of total migrant income with the majority of this being Employee income ($798.5 million or 90%). Migrants born in Sudan and Sierra Leone earned the most Employee income ($151.6 million and $101.1 million, respectively). Almost one-third (30%) of Humanitarian migrants’ Employee income was earned by those living in New South Wales ($237.7 million).

Two-thirds of Humanitarian migrants who earned Employee income were males. Males aged 25 to 34 years had the highest median Employee income at $28,358. Females had much lower median Employee incomes, with those aged 45 to 54 years reporting the highest at $24,038.

GRAPH 7: HUMANITARIAN MIGRANTS, Median employee income, By Age group and Sex, 2009-10
Graph Image for Graph 7

Source(s): Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID), 2009-10


Overall, Humanitarian migrants reported higher median incomes from Own unincorporated businesses than Skilled or Family stream migrants, a consistent finding in multiple studies (DSS 2014). Almost 5,000 Humanitarian migrants reported $83.0 million in income from their Own unincorporated business. This equated to 9.3% of Humanitarian migrants’ total income, almost double the average contribution Own unincorporated business income makes to total income across all migrant streams. Humanitarian migrants from New South Wales reported the highest total amount ($29.3 million).

Males reported 90%, or $74.6 million of Own unincorporated business income, with most aged 25 to 44 years. Only 616 females reported Own unincorporated business income. Humanitarian migrants born in Afghanistan reported the highest amount ($21.1 million).

Recent research indicates that Humanitarian migrants tended to work several jobs in their first few years in Australia in order to finance their own business. Humanitarian migrants display greater entrepreneurial qualities when compared with other migrant groups, with a higher than average proportion engaging in small and medium business enterprises (DSS, 2010). This finding is further substantiated by the number of Humanitarian migrants reporting income from unincorporated businesses which increases with length of residency, increasing sharply after 5 years. Graph 8 below illustrates this as well as the trends in the levels of Own unincorporated business income reported by the Skilled and Family stream migrants by their length of residency in Australia.

By contrast, the number of Skilled and Family stream migrants reporting Own unincorporated business income, is higher between one and six years but increases at a slower rate.

GRAPH 8: MIGRANTS, Proportion of migrants reporting Own unincorporated business income, By Period of residence in Australia and Visa stream, 2009-10
Graph Image for Graph 8

Source(s): Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID), 2009-10


Humanitarian migrants represented 1.4% of all migrants with Investment income. They received $5.2 million in Investment income (0.5%) with 35-44 year olds responsible for half. Whilst migrants born in Iraq were third highest in terms those reporting Investment income, they had the highest amount at $1.5 million (0.1%). Humanitarian migrants in Victoria generated half of all Investment income by migrants in this stream at $2.6 million.


LENGTH OF RESIDENCY AND EMPLOYEE INCOME

As the economic well-being of most Australians is largely affected by the amount of income they receive, the analysis of variations in Employee income over time can provide valuable information about relative advantage and disadvantage in general.

Since Employee income comprises such a significant proportion of total income, median Employee income by period of residence in Australia can provide an indication of whether levels of overall income are improving over time. Graph 9 below shows that the median Employee income for all three visa streams increased by period of residency in Australia.

GRAPH 9: MIGRANTS, Median employee income, By Period of residence in Australia and Visa stream, 2009-10
Graph Image for Graph 9

Source(s): Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID), 2009-10


All migrants, irrespective of visa stream reported much lower median Employee incomes shortly after arrival in Australia, especially in the first 1-2 years.

The median employee income of Skilled stream migrants’ increased steadily each year for the first 7 years of residency reaching a high of $51,283 after which median levels of income stabilised at between $50,000 and $51,000.

Family stream migrants’ median Employee incomes peaked at $36,304 at around 6 years of residency. Median employee income remained stable (between $36,000 and $37,000) for these migrants between 6 and 9 years of residency, then increased to a high of $37,900 with 10 or more years of residency.

Humanitarian stream migrants’ median Employee income peaked at $24,821 at around 5 years of residency. After this period the median declined slightly between 6 and 8 years of residency before slowly increasing again at 9 years of residency to a high of $27,651 after 10 or more years.


ENTREPRENEURIAL MIGRANTS AND INVESTORS

Migrants reported $1.8 billion in Own unincorporated business income in 2009-10.

Skilled stream migrants reported $1.2 billion (66%) of Own unincorporated business income while those in the Family stream reported $485.7 million (27%).

The majority of Own unincorporated business income was received by males with $1.4 billion (77%). Male migrants aged between 35 and 44 years were responsible for almost a third of this income and those aged 25 to 34 years almost a quarter (see Graph 10 below).

The 34% female migrants reported $451 million in Own unincorporated business income.

GRAPH 10: Proportion of Own unincorporated business income, By Age group and Sex, 2009-10
Graph Image for Graph 10

Source(s): Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID), 2009-10


Primary applicants received the majority of Own unincorporated business income with $1.4 billion (80%) (see Graph 11).

A third of all income from Own unincorporated business ($603.4 million) was reported by migrants with taxable incomes between $6,001 and $35,000. A further 29% was received by those with taxable incomes between $35,001 and $80,000.

Almost a quarter of Own unincorporated business income was reported by only 2.4% of migrants with taxable incomes over $180,000. This subgroup also had the highest median Own unincorporated business income at $119,833.

GRAPH 11: MIGRANTS, Total income from Own unincorporated businesses, By Taxable income bracket and Applicant status, 2009-10

Bar chart showing Total income from Own unincorporated businesses, by taxable income bracket and applicant status


Investment income represented 2.7% of all migrant income in 2009-10 at $1.0 billion. Offshore applicants received 57% of Investment income worth $575 million, with offshore primary applicants reporting $379 million (38%).

Females were slightly higher than males, receiving 56% in Investment income. The strongest investors across both sexes and all age groups were females aged 35 to 44 years. They received $202.7 million in Investment income, or 20% of total investment income. There were similar proportions of male and female investors aged between 25 and 34 years, however the females received $134.2 million in income from their investments, almost double that of their male counterparts (see Graph 12 below).

Skilled stream migrants received the most Investment income with $644.4 million (64%). Of this income, Skilled primary applicants reported 36% and Skilled secondary applicants 28%.

Family stream migrants reported $348.8 million (35%) of Investment income, with Family primary applicants responsible for the vast majority of this income with $316.9 million (32%).

Of the 53,599 migrant taxpayers who received income from rental properties in 2009-10, 81% reported a loss. This is higher than the figure for all Australian taxpayers (migrants and non-migrants) who reported a loss (63%).

GRAPH 12: MIGRANTS, Proportion of Investment income, By Age group and Sex, 2009-10
Graph Image for Graph 12

Source(s): Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID), 2009-10


INCOME BY TOP FIVE COUNTRIES OF BIRTH

In 2009-10, the top five countries with the highest proportion of migrant taxpayers were the United Kingdom (UK), India, China, South Africa and the Philippines. Migrants from these five countries generated $21.3 billion in income and accounted for over half of all migrants who lodged a taxation return. Migrants from these countries reported 57% of total income.

Migrants born in the UK recorded the most total income at $8.8 billion (23%). Most of this income was Employee income ($7.9 billion). UK migrants also reported the highest proportions of Other income (51%), Own unincorporated business income (26%) and Investment income (29%).

Migrants born in India were the second largest income contributors. They reported 14% of total income ($5.3 billion), $5.0 billion in Employee income and $241.9 million of Own unincorporated business income (13%).

Migrants from South Africa comprised only 5% of all migrant taxpayers but received $2.8 billion in total income. They also reported the second highest proportion of Investment income ($127.1 million) and Other income ($36.0 million).

Migrants born in China received $2.7 billion in total income with $2.5 billion of this amount Employee income (7.2%). Migrants born in the Philippines earned Employee income of $1.7 billion.

GRAPH 13: MIGRANTS, Proportion of Total income, By Top five countries of birth and Source of income, 2009-10
Graph Image for Graph 13

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Superannuation and annuities. (b) Includes Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. (c) Excludes SAR's and Taiwan

Source(s): Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID), 2009-10


The highest median Employee incomes were generated by Skilled stream migrants from the UK ($55,792), South Africa ($55,587) and Zimbabwe ($53,295). The 2011 Australian Census of Population and Housing showed that the majority of migrants born in these countries spoke English only at home or spoke English very well or well, indicating that higher levels of English proficiency contributes to higher levels of employee income for recent migrants (ABS, 2012). This finding is consistent with a number of studies which have looked into the effect of language proficiency on the income of migrants. There is strong evidence that migrants with poor proficiency in the main language of the host country face a significant gap in earnings compared with those who are proficient (MCA, 2015).


CONCLUSION

The linkage of the ATO PIT unit records with migrant settlement records from the SDB is a new administrative data initiative. It makes use of existing government data holdings to create a new and powerful data source to inform government policy and planning pertaining to permanent migrants in Australia. The ABS partners in this project (ATO, DSS and DIBP) recognise the value of the PITMID and support the continuation of this project. It is expected that the broad approach used here will be adopted for future data linkage on an annual basis. Data from the 2010-11 PITMID will be released in the coming months and it is anticipated that the linkage of the 2011-12 PIT to SDB will take place in early 2016.

Notes

* Other income (excluding Government pensions and allowances) includes transfer or trust income; foreign investment fund and/or foreign life insurance assurance policy income; controlled foreign company income; foreign salary/pension income; other net foreign source income; and other (including superannuation and annuity income). Data for superannuation and annuities are understated. See Explanatory Notes for more information.

Further Information

Further analysis of migrant income data can be undertaken by accessing the spreadsheets (or data cubes) on the “Downloads” tab.

Additional PITMID data for the 2010-11 financial year will be released separately, as an update to this publication later this year.

For further information on the 2013 Migrant PIT Data Integration Project see Research Paper: Feasibility Study of Linking Migrant Settlement Records to Personal Income Tax Data, Aug 2014 (cat. no. 1351.0.55.051).

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