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1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Jun 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/07/2008   
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FEATURE ARTICLE: MIGRATION AND MOBILITY IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA


INTRODUCTION

In recent years, migration has been the most influential component of population growth in Western Australia. Between June 1996 and June 2006, net migration (both overseas and inter-state) accounted for 53.4% of Western Australia's estimated population growth, contributing to a net increase of 85,939 persons. At the time of the 2006 Census, 43.8% of persons (aged 5 years or more) living in Western Australia had moved since 2001. Of these, 7.9% had moved to WA from another state, and a further 12.6% had arrived from overseas.

The current resources boom has placed considerable pressure on Western Australia's ability to provide a workforce able to cope with new developments and projects. Migration is therefore necessary for the sustainability of WA's current economy. This has led to an increase in the number of houses being built, resulting in increased energy and water use and expanding infrastructure and service needs. Thus, migration has impacted on the economic, social and environmental aspects of Western Australia and has significant implications for the future of the state.

The analysis in this article will focus on demographic data for persons who were counted as living in Western Australia at the time of the 2006 Census. The Census provides a wealth of information about the characteristics of people who moved to Western Australia between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, whether from overseas, (described as recent arrivals), or from another state or territory.

The analysis will also provide a view of how Western Australians have moved within WA to capitalise on employment opportunities or lifestyle changes. The demographic analysis will include regional movements, occupation and industry characteristics of employed movers, as well as post-school qualifications of movers.


OVERSEAS MIGRATION

Overseas migration has a significant influence on the future of Western Australia's community, labour force and economy. It has had a major impact on the size of Western Australia's population growth. Since 2000, overseas migration has been the largest contributor to population growth in Western Australia, mainly due to the current economic boom and associated employment opportunities. Overseas migration contributed 53.1% of Western Australia's population growth in 2006.

COMPONENTS OF POPULATION GROWTH, Western Australia
Graph: Components of Population Growth, Western Australia


Increases in migrant quotas and subsequent changes to immigration policy to attract skilled workers, have resulted in a steady increase of permanent settlers in Western Australia, culminating in 19,783 new permanent settlers in 2006-07 (www.diac.gov.au and www.immi.gov.au).

Permanent arrivals (settlers) data apply to overseas born residents who live permanently in Australia. This includes 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 including for family, skilled labour and humanitarian reasons.

SETTLER ARRIVALS, Western Australia
Graph: Settler arrivals, Western Australia


At the time of the 2006 Census, 27.1% (531,746) of Western Australians had been born overseas. More than three-quarters (77.7%) had immigrated to Australia before the 2001 Census. Of these, the majority were born in Europe with 49.8% born in North-West Europe and 12.2% in Southern and Eastern Europe, reflecting pre- and post-World War II displacement and Australian immigration policies at that time. Those Western Australians who immigrated to Australia before the 2001 Census had a median age of 51 years at the time of the 2006 Census.

Recent settlers who arrived after 2001, have different characteristics from pre-2001 migrants, and have a greater impact on labour force capabilities and housing as well as education and training programs. The following analysis will focus on persons born overseas, who arrived in Australia between 2001 and 2006 (before 8th August) and were counted as usual residents of Western Australia at the time of the 2006 Census. This includes persons migrating to Australia from another country, persons who returned to Australia after living overseas and foreign students, living in Australia on long-term visas.


Arrived between 2001 and 2006

Of all persons who had moved to Western Australia between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, 101,089 lived overseas at the time of the 2001 Census. These represented 5.5% of all persons aged more than 5 years counted as living in WA at the time of the 2006 Census.

Of the persons born overseas who had arrived in Australia between 2001 and 2006, 93,527 were counted as living in Western Australia at the time of the 2006 Census. Almost one-third (31.5%) were born in North-West Europe, another 17% were born in South-East Asia and 16.6% were born in Sub-Saharan Africa.

RECENT ARRIVALS (a), Region of birth, Western Australia
Graph: Recent Arrivals (a), Region of birth, Western Australia


As in 2001, the top three countries of origin for recent arrivals as reported in the 2006 Census were England, New Zealand and South Africa, which combined, accounted for over 40% (37,786) of all recent arrivals to 2006.

Meanwhile, Sudan has climbed significantly in the recent arrivals rankings between the 2001 and 2006 Census (ranked 41st in 2001 to 13th in 2006). Zimbabwe has moved from 14th to 10th while Thailand and the Republic of Korea (South) have moved from 22nd to 16th and 27th to 18th respectively. Indonesia has dropped from 4th to 9th.

TOP 20 COUNTRIES, RECENT ARRIVALS (2001-2006), Western Australia

Ranking 2006
Ranking 2001(a)
Recent arrivals
Median Age
Aged under 25 yrs
Aged over 55 yrs
Employed
Country of birth
No.
%
years
%
%
%

England
1
1
21 268
22.7
33
36.4
10.2
69.6
New Zealand
2
2
8 550
9.1
27
42.1
7.1
78.0
South Africa
3
3
7 968
8.5
30
43.3
6.0
69.6
Malaysia
4
6
4 680
5.0
22
63.2
2.9
41.4
Singapore
5
5
3 804
4.1
23
54.6
3.7
42.4
China (excludes SARs and Taiwan Province)
6
8
3 353
3.6
24
51.8
2.5
44.9
India
7
9
3 162
3.4
30
32.2
5.9
66.9
Scotland
8
7
2 919
3.1
33
34.4
6.6
74.3
Indonesia
9
4
2 639
2.8
22
57.0
2.9
42.5
Zimbabwe
10
14
2 626
2.8
28
45.6
4.5
74.3
United States of America
11
10
1 812
1.9
27
45.8
5.8
59.5
Philippines
12
12
1 802
1.9
32
28.9
1.9
66.7
Sudan
13
41
1 579
1.7
21
57.1
1.5
27.6
Japan
14
13
1 271
1.4
28
35.7
5.7
39.8
Kenya
15
19
1 230
1.3
23
56.3
3.3
68.3
Thailand
16
22
1 155
1.2
27
43.3
1.6
46.9
Hong Kong (SAR of China)
17
15
1 121
1.2
21
75.2
1.5
34.3
Korea, Republic of (South)
18
27
1 056
1.1
25
49.2
1.8
36.2
Ireland
19
23
1 026
1.1
29
29.6
6.0
75.0
Canada
20
21
1 018
1.1
28
36.2
3.2
70.2

(a) Arrived in Australia between 1996 and 6 August 2001
Source: Unpublished 2001 and 2006 Census data



WA regional analysis

As a proportion of the total usual resident population in each region, Perth had the highest proportion of recent arrivals (5.6% or 81,552), followed by the South Eastern region (3.8% or 1,997) and the Pilbara region (3.6% or 1,468).

Of the 93,527 recent arrivals living in Western Australia at the time of the 2006 Census, the vast majority lived in Perth (87.2% or 81,552). This varied from 97.2% (4,064) of recent arrivals from North Africa and the Middle East to 70.1% (6,272) of recent arrivals from Oceania settling in Perth. Settlers from Oceania were the most regionally spread in WA with 8.6% (773) settling in South Eastern WA (compared to 2.1% of total recent arrivals); 7.6% (682) settling in the South West (compared to 5.0% of all recent arrivals); and 5.2% (461) settling in the Pilbara (compared to 1.6% of all recent arrivals). Relative to other regions of birth, a significant number of recent arrivals from North-West Europe (2,124 or 7.2%) also settled in South West WA.

RECENT ARRIVALS, REGION OF BIRTH, WA STATISTICAL DIVISION, 2006 Census

Statistical Division
Oceania
North-West Europe
Southern and Eastern Europe
North Africa and the Middle East
South-East Asia
North-East Asia
Southern and Central Asia
Americas
Sub-Saharan Africa
Total

NUMBER

Perth
6 272
25 693
2 780
4 064
14 644
6 724
4 836
3 294
13 030
81 552
South West
682
2 124
80
50
373
120
127
195
878
4 635
Lower Great Southern
151
259
18
4
166
87
87
48
161
984
Upper Great Southern
57
59
3
-
14
-
4
10
56
206
Midlands
152
262
10
7
63
10
23
32
254
816
South Eastern
773
221
26
22
175
47
41
77
615
1 997
Central
181
262
15
7
98
24
41
67
151
846
Pilbara
461
212
23
12
234
19
145
70
284
1 468
Kimberley
95
108
15
3
57
27
21
28
45
399
Total
8 942
29 493
2 978
4 182
15 875
7 084
5 358
3 853
15 521
93 527

PERCENTAGE

Perth
70.1
87.1
93.4
97.2
92.2
94.9
90.3
85.5
84.0
87.2
South West
7.6
7.2
2.7
1.2
2.3
1.7
2.4
5.1
5.7
5.0
Lower Great Southern
1.7
0.9
0.6
0.1
1.0
1.2
1.6
1.2
1.0
1.1
Upper Great Southern
0.6
0.2
0.1
-
0.1
-
0.1
0.3
0.4
0.2
Midlands
1.7
0.9
0.3
0.2
0.4
0.1
0.4
0.8
1.6
0.9
South Eastern
8.6
0.7
0.9
0.5
1.1
0.7
0.8
2.0
4.0
2.1
Central
2.0
0.9
0.5
0.2
0.6
0.3
0.8
1.7
1.0
0.9
Pilbara
5.2
0.7
0.8
0.3
1.5
0.3
2.7
1.8
1.8
1.6
Kimberley
1.1
0.4
0.5
0.1
0.4
0.4
0.4
0.7
0.3
0.4
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
Source: Unpublished 2006 Census data



Recent arrivals demographics

The age profile of recent arrivals living in Western Australia is younger than the total Western Australian population. At the time of the 2006 Census, the median age for persons who had recently arrived in Western Australia was 28 years compared with 36 years for the total WA population.

AGE DISTRIBUTION, Recent arrivals and the total WA population: 2006 Census
Graph: Age Distribution, Recent arrivals and the total WA population: 2006 Census


There are some age profile differences according to country of birth. The youngest median age profile belonged to persons born in North Africa and the Middle East (22 years) while the oldest median age profile belonged to persons born in North-West Europe (33 years).

RECENT ARRIVALS (a), Median Age, Western Australia
Graph: Recent Arrivals (a), Median Age, Western Australia


Recent arrivals were more likely to live in couple with children households (56.2% compared with 49.3% for the WA population as a whole), and were less likely to live in couple only households (18.5% compared to 21.4% for WA). Recent arrivals were more than twice as likely to live in group households (7.5% compared with 2.8% for WA) but half as likely to live in lone person households (4.9% compared with 10.5% for WA). This pattern could reflect overseas students living in shared accommodation.

Almost two-thirds of persons born in the Sub-Saharan African region lived in couple with children households (64.5%). One in four persons born in the Americas and in Southern and Eastern Europe lived in couple only households (26.3% and 25.6% respectively).

A language other than English was spoken at home by almost half of WA's recent arrivals (45% or 42,053 people). Of these, more than three-quarters (81.3%) spoke English well or very well, 13.8% did not speak English well and a further 2.9% did not speak English at all. More than one-quarter (27.4%) of recent arrivals born in North-East Asia, did not speak English well and 6.9% of recent arrivals from North Africa and the Middle East did not speak English at all. Proficiency in English is important in determining access to education and training services as well as labour force participation.

RECENT ARRIVALS, Proficiency in Spoken English, Western Australia
Graph: Recent arrivals, Proficiency in Spoken English, Western Australia



Labour force characteristics

Of the 93,527 persons who arrived in Australia between 2001 and 2006 and lived in Western Australia at the time of the 2006 Census, 72,325 persons (77.3%) were aged more than 15 years old. Of these, more than half were employed (60.2% or 43,552 persons), a third were not in the labour force (33.9% or 24,496 persons) and 4.8% (3,449 persons) were unemployed.

Compared with the total WA population (aged more than 15 years), recent arrivals had a similar proportion of employed persons (59.9% for WA) but a higher proportion who were unemployed (2.3% for WA). An important factor in using labour force status to determine mobility trends is that a person's labour force status is only recorded for the 2006 Census. It is unknown what labour force status a person had when they did move, or whether it changed between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses.

Differences in proportions of employed persons existed between country of birth regions. Persons born in the Oceania region had the highest proportion of employed persons (77.1%), followed by persons born in North-West Europe (69.4%). The lowest proportions of employed were among those born in the North Africa and Middle-East region (30.8%) and the North-East Asia region (40.8%).

A possible reason for the lower employed proportions from some regions is that recent arrivals include persons attending educational institutions to improve language and develop other skills. For example, of the 1,685 persons born in North Africa and the Middle East who were not in the labour force, 57.9% were attending an educational institution. For persons born in North-East Asia, 71.8% of those not in the labour force, were attending an educational institution.

Industry and occupation data provide further information about Western Australia's recent arrivals. Of the 43,553 recent arrivals working at the time of the 2006 Census, the highest proportion were working in the health care and social assistance industry (11.8%) while 11.0% were working in manufacturing and 10.6% in the accommodation and food services industry. While the employment pattern of recent arrivals by industry group was fairly similar to the total employed WA population, the proportion employed in the accommodation and food services industry was double that of the total WA employed population (10.6% compared to 5.6%), and slightly higher in the manufacturing industry (11.0% compared to 9.4%).

RECENT ARRIVALS, EMPLOYED PERSONS BY INDUSTRY GROUP, Western Australia, 2006 Census

Recent arrivals
Total employed
No.
%
No.
%

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
684
1.6
30 045
3.4
Mining
2 087
4.8
37 160
4.2
Manufacturing
4 802
11.0
83 160
9.4
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
444
1.0
9 052
1.0
Construction
3 549
8.1
80 827
9.1
Wholesale Trade
1 758
4.0
35 206
4.0
Retail Trade
3 802
8.7
99 985
11.3
Accommodation and Food Services
4 605
10.6
49 691
5.6
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
1 271
2.9
37 954
4.3
Information Media and Telecommunications
458
1.1
11 836
1.3
Financial and Insurance Services
1 149
2.6
25 594
2.9
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
643
1.5
17 604
2.0
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
3 783
8.7
53 898
6.1
Administrative and Support Services
2 159
5.0
27 243
3.1
Public Administration and Safety
1 464
3.4
57 979
6.6
Education and Training
2 363
5.4
68 560
7.8
Health Care and Social Assistance
5 155
11.8
89 136
10.1
Arts and Recreation Services
394
0.9
11 087
1.3
Other Services
1 490
3.4
33 970
3.8
Inadequately described
669
1.5
12 865
1.5
Not stated
824
1.9
10 986
1.2
Total
43 553
100.0
883 790
100.0

Source: Unpublished 2006 Census data

EMPLOYMENT INDUSTRY, Recent arrivals, 2001-2006, WA
Graph: Employment Industry, Recent arrivals, 2001-2006, WA


Differences in industry employment were noticeable when analysing a person's country of birth region. High proportions of persons born in the Oceania region were employed in the construction (12.3%) and manufacturing industries (11.7%). Persons from North-West Europe were employed in health care and social assistance (15%) and construction (11.7%). Over one-quarter (29%) of persons born in North-East Asia worked in the accommodation and food services industry and 14% of persons born in the Americas worked in the professional, scientific and technical services industry.

Recent arrivals were more highly represented in the occupations of professionals (24.5%) and labourers (14%) than the total WA population (18.1% and 10.8% respectively). In the professional occupation group, more than one-quarter (26.2% or 2,795) were employed as health professionals. Of these, over half (52.4%) were born in North-West Europe and a further 19.4% were born in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the labourer occupation group, almost one-third (30.5% or 1,864) were employed as cleaners and laundry workers. Of these, almost one-quarter (22.3%) were born in South-East Asia and a further 17% were born in Sub-Saharan Africa.

RECENT ARRIVALS, EMPLOYED PERSONS BY OCCUPATION GROUP, Western Australia, 2006 Census

Recent arrivals
Total employed
No.
%
No.
%

Managers
4 197
9.6
111 465
12.6
Professionals
10 651
24.5
159 750
18.1
Technicians and Trades Workers
7 423
17.0
145 088
16.4
Community and Personal Service Workers
4 392
10.1
77 970
8.8
Clerical and Administratrive Workers
4 718
10.8
129 950
14.7
Sales Workers
3 154
7.2
84 473
9.6
Machinery Operators and Drivers
2 307
5.3
65 333
7.4
Labourers
6 103
14.0
95 729
10.8
Inadequately described
356
0.8
6 836
0.8
Not stated
252
0.6
7 191
0.8
Total
43 553
100.0
883 785
100.0

Source: Unpublished 2006 Census data


Recent overseas arrivals (aged 15 years or more) were almost twice as likely to have a bachelor degree or higher qualification than the total WA population (27.7% compared with 14.4%). However, they were less likely to have a certificate qualification (13.8% compared with 17.6%). As per industry and occupation data, differences exist between country of birth regions. For example, persons born in Southern and Central Asia had the highest proportion of bachelor degrees or higher (51.3%) compared with 12.7% of persons born in the Oceania region.

Individual median income in conjunction with industry and occupation data can be a useful indicator in determining incentives for a person to move to WA from overseas. The median income measure applies to employed persons only. The median weekly income of recent arrivals to WA was $753 per week ($39,156 pa), similar to the total WA employed population ($755 per week). Recent arrivals from North-West Europe and the Oceania regions had higher median incomes ($903 per week and $803 per week respectively), compared with persons from North-East Asia ($409 per week) and North-Africa and the Middle East ($538 per week).


INTER-STATE MIGRATION

Mainly due to Western Australia's booming economy and associated employment opportunities, people have been increasingly moving to WA from other states and territories. While net inter-state migration has fluctuated over the last twenty years, since 2003 WA has had a positive net flow of people from other states and territories.

NET INTER-STATE MIGRATION TO WA, Annual net movement
Graph: Net Inter-state migration to WA, Annual net movement



Lived inter-state 5 years ago

In gross inter-state migration terms, there were 62,930 persons who moved to Western Australia from another state or territory between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses. Of all persons who moved to WA, inter-state migration accounted for 7.9%. A high proportion of inter-state movers came from NSW (29.5%) and almost a further one-quarter (23.8%) came from Victoria.

When the number of people who moved to WA is placed in context of the population size of the originating state or territory, differences in proportions appear. As the graph below illustrates, a higher proportion of persons from the Northern Territory migrated to Western Australia (26.6 persons per 1,000 of total 2006 NT population), compared with NSW (3.1 persons per 1,000 of NSW 2006 population).

INTER-STATE MIGRATION, Per capita moving to WA, between 2001 and 2006 Census
Graph: inter-state migration, Per capita moving to WA, between 2001 and 2006 Census


Net inter-state migration is a measure of how many people are also leaving Western Australia for other states and territories. In the five years to 2006, there was a positive net movement of people moving to Western Australia from NSW (7% or 4,962 people), whereas WA had a negative net movement to Queensland (-7.4% or a net loss of 4,179 people).

INTER-STATE MIGRATION, Net movements to and from WA - 2006 Census
Graph: inter-state migration, Net movements to and from WA—2006 Census



Regional movement

Of the 62,930 inter-state movers to Western Australia between the 2001 and 2006 Census, the majority (69.3%) moved to the Perth metropolitan area, and a further 9.1% moved to the South-West region. However, as a proportion of the total number of people who had moved within or from outside a particular region, the Kimberley had the highest proportion of people that had moved from inter-state (20.5%), closely followed by the Pilbara region (16.7%).

The resources boom has been an influential factor in the high proportion of inter-state movers to the Pilbara region, but to a lesser extent to the Kimberley. The higher Kimberley inter-state movement reflects a number of factors including a highly mobile Indigenous population (10.2% or 236 people of inter-state movers to the Kimberley were Indigenous, of which 60.3% came from the Northern Territory). Also the population movement in northern Australia is reflected in the amount of movement from Northern Territory and Queensland, possibly for tourism employment opportunities (27.4% of inter-state movers in the Kimberley had previously lived in Queensland, 16.9% in the Northern Territory).

ARRIVALS FROM INTER-STATE, Proportion of total movers by region - 2006 Census
Graph: arrivals from inter-state, Proportion of total movers by region—2006 Census



Inter-state mover demographics

The median age for people migrating to WA from other states and territories was younger (32 years) than that for the total WA population (36 years). The youngest inter-state movers were in the Upper Great Southern and South Eastern regions (median age 30 years for both regions).

The median age for inter-state movers to the Pilbara was 32 years compared with 31 years for the total population in the Pilbara, and inter-state movers to the Kimberley had a median age of 34 years compared with 30 years for the total population in the Kimberley. However, these were still lower than the median age of 36 years for the total population in WA.

INTER-STATE MOVERS TO WA, AGE DISTRIBUTION AND MEDIAN AGE, WA Statistical Divisions

Age Group
Perth
South West
Lower Great Southern
Upper Great Southern
Midlands
South Eastern
Central
Pilbara
Kimberley
Total

NUMBER

5 - 14
6 575
1 001
222
45
145
469
286
508
255
9 506
15 - 24
6 657
722
153
31
121
578
207
386
323
9 183
25 - 34
12 185
1 207
217
50
203
953
374
1 020
633
16 849
35 - 44
9 459
1 146
227
40
136
592
339
686
460
13 096
45 - 54
4 692
680
163
25
134
378
254
437
327
7 095
55 - 64
2 681
592
126
17
130
177
185
187
242
4 337
65 and over
1 981
436
90
13
73
72
91
32
74
2 862
Total
44 230
5 784
1 198
221
942
3 219
1 736
3 256
2 314
62 928

PERCENTAGE

5 - 14
14.9
17.3
18.5
20.4
15.4
14.6
16.5
15.6
11.0
15.1
15 - 24
15.1
12.5
12.8
14.0
12.8
18.0
11.9
11.9
14.0
14.6
25 - 34
27.5
20.9
18.1
22.6
21.5
29.6
21.5
31.3
27.4
26.8
35 - 44
21.4
19.8
18.9
18.1
14.4
18.4
19.5
21.1
19.9
20.8
45 - 54
10.6
11.8
13.6
11.3
14.2
11.7
14.6
13.4
14.1
11.3
55 - 64
6.1
10.2
10.5
7.7
13.8
5.5
10.7
5.7
10.5
6.9
65 and over
4.5
7.5
7.5
5.9
7.7
2.2
5.2
1.0
3.2
4.5
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Median Age - Inter-state
32.0
34.0
35.0
30.0
35.0
30.0
35.0
32.0
34.0
32.0
Median Age - Total population
36.0
39.0
39.0
39.0
40.0
32.0
36.0
31.0
30.0
36.0

AGE DISTRIBUTION, Inter-state movers to WA and the total WA population: 2006 Census
Graph: Age Distribution, Inter-state movers to WA and the total WA population: 2006 Census


The proportion of inter-state movers living in couple with children households was lower than for the total WA population (43.1% compared with 49.3%), but higher in couple only households (23.6% compared with 21.4% ) and group households (6.3% compared with 2.8% ).

In the Kimberley region, 30.4% of inter-state movers lived in couple only households, while 28.6% were in couple with children households. A further 14.3% were in lone person households and 8.3% lived in group households


Labour force characteristics

Of the 62,930 people who moved to WA from another state or territory between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, 84.9% were aged over 15 years. Of these, 71.4% were employed, 3.7% were unemployed while 24.1% were not in the labour force at the time of the 2006 Census. By comparison, 59.9% of the total WA population aged over 15 years were employed and 30.6% were not in the labour force.

As previously mentioned, the Census records each person's labour force status only at the time of the Census. Therefore, it is neither known what labour force status a person had when they did move, nor what changes to their status occured between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses.

Sex divisions exist in the labour force status of inter-state movers. More than three-quarters (80.7%) of male inter-state movers were employed compared with 61.6% of females. The proportion of female inter-state movers who were not in the labour force was over double that of male inter-state movers (33.7% and 15.1% respectively). This possibly reflects the movement of single income couple households (with or without children). In comparison, the proportions of total WA females and males (aged more than 15 years) not in the labour force were 37.7% and 23.3% respectively.

Perth had the largest number of unemployed inter-state movers (1,366). As a proportion of the total inter-state movers in a region, the Upper Great Southern had the highest proportion of unemployed inter-state movers (7.1%). The lowest proportion of inter-state movers that were unemployed resided in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions (2.3% and 2.5% respectively).

Perth also had the largest number of inter-state movers who were not in the labour force (9,060), however the Upper Great Southern, Lower Great Southern and the Midlands regions had the highest proportion of inter-state movers who were not in the labour force (37.5% for all regions).

Industry and occupation data may provide an indication as to why people moved to WA from another state or territory. Of the 38,159 employed inter-state movers, one in ten were employed in public administration and safety (10.1%). A further 9.2% were employed in health care and social assistance, 9.0% in retail trade and 8.6% in mining.

The proportions for inter-state movers were roughly similar to the total for WA for the majority of industry groups. The most notable difference occurred in the mining industry where the proportion (8.6%) of inter-state movers was twice that of the total WA population (4.2%). Inter-state movers were less likely to work in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry (1.7% inter-state movers compared with 3.4% total WA) and the education and training industry (5.3% of inter-state movers compared with 7.8% for total WA).

INTER-STATE MOVERS TO WA, EMPLOYED PERSONS BY INDUSTRY GROUP, Western Australia, 2006 Census

Inter-state Movers
Total employed
No.
%
No.
%

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
639
1.7
30 045
3.4
Mining
3 274
8.6
37 160
4.2
Manufacturing
3 111
8.2
83 160
9.4
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
334
0.9
9 052
1.0
Construction
3 174
8.3
80 827
9.1
Wholesale Trade
1 382
3.6
35 206
4.0
Retail Trade
3 417
9.0
99 985
11.3
Accommodation and Food Services
2 576
6.8
49 691
5.6
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
1 757
4.6
37 954
4.3
Information Media and Telecommunications
542
1.4
11 836
1.3
Financial and Insurance Services
1 180
3.1
25 594
2.9
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
599
1.6
17 604
2.0
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
2 851
7.5
53 898
6.1
Administrative and Support Services
1 327
3.5
27 243
3.1
Public Administration and Safety
3 859
10.1
57 979
6.6
Education and Training
2 009
5.3
68 560
7.8
Health Care and Social Assistance
3 523
9.2
89 136
10.1
Arts and Recreation Services
579
1.5
11 087
1.3
Other Services
1 202
3.1
33 970
3.8
Inadequately described
533
1.4
12 865
1.5
Not stated
291
0.8
10 986
1.2
Total
38 159
100.0
883 790
100.0

Source: Unpublished 2006 Census data


Further analysis of inter-state migration by industry group shows that in the mining industry, 8.8% of all employees had moved from another state or territory to WA between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses. This was followed by 6.7% of public administration and safety employees.

EMPLOYMENT INDUSTRY, inter-state movers to WA
Graph: Employment industry, inter-state movers to WA


Of the 38,159 employed inter-state movers, almost one-quarter (23.7%) were employed in professional occupations and a further 16% were technicians and trades workers. Compared with industry groups, occupation groups were more uniform between inter-state movers and the total employed WA population. The only significant difference was that inter-state movers were more likely to work in professional occupations (23.7% compared with 18.1% for the total WA employed population). Of the professional inter-state movers, almost one-third (29.6%) were employed as design, engineering, science and transport professionals, followed by business, human resource and marketing professionals (21.2%).

INTER-STATE MOVERS TO WA, EMPLOYED PERSONS BY OCCUPATION GROUP, Western Australia, 2006 Census

Inter-state Movers
Total employed
No.
%
No.
%

Managers
4 993
13.1
111 465
12.6
Professionals
9 029
23.7
159 750
18.1
Technicians and Trades Workers
6 084
15.9
145 088
16.4
Community and Personal Service Workers
3 562
9.3
77 970
8.8
Clerical and Administratrive Workers
4 627
12.1
129 950
14.7
Sales Workers
2 899
7.6
84 473
9.6
Machinery Operators and Drivers
2 941
7.7
65 333
7.4
Labourers
3 611
9.5
95 729
10.8
Inadequately described
151
0.4
6 836
0.8
Not stated
263
0.7
7 191
0.8
Total
38 160
100.0
883 785
100.0


The proportion of inter-state movers (aged more than 15 years) to WA between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses who had a bachelor degree or higher qualification was almost double the proportion for the total WA population (23.6% compared with 14.4%). Similarly, certificate level qualifications were higher among inter-state movers than for the total WA population (21.8% compared with 17.6% for total WA population). The level of education of inter-state movers further supports the higher proportion of inter-state movers in professional and technician and trade occupations.

Individual median income in conjunction with industry and occupation data is a useful indicator in determining incentives for a person to move inter-state. The median income measure applies only to employed persons. The median weekly income of employed persons who moved to WA from another state or territory was $905 ($47,060 pa), which was $150 per week higher than for the total WA population ($755 per week). Median income differences between inter-state movers and the total WA population were greatest in the South Eastern region (inter-state movers $1,039 per week compared with $858 per week) and Perth (inter-state movers $911 per week compared with $766 per week).


INTERNAL MOBILITY

Of the people who lived in Western Australia between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, more than two-fifths had moved within WA over the five year period (42.2%). Of these, 37.8% moved within the same Statistical Local Area (SLA). Even though migration and mobility trends usually focus on inter-state and overseas migration, WA's mobile population should be investigated to determine the extent of people moving for economic opportunities, lifestyle changes and the locations they choose.

However, determining a person's motivation to move is difficult to measure as people move for very diverse reasons. For example, life cycle changes can include common motivators, such as younger people moving for education, or older people moving to be closer to services or family.

In 2005, an ABS survey of mobility intentions and motivations revealed that, of the total WA population, 48% or 700,100 persons had moved in the five years previously, with the majority moving within WA (90%). Of these movers, 34.4% moved due to a change in personal or family circumstances, with 24% moving to live with their partner or to get married. The survey also identified that 24.7% intended to move within the next three years, 70.9% moving within WA.

This analysis uses 2006 Census data about people who moved within Western Australia between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses. There are however a few data issues to be considered. For example, the Census only measures moves between Census nights but many people may move more than once in a five year period. Also the Census relies on respondents to understand and interpret questions correctly.

A common concern is the reporting by fly-in fly-out workers in the mining industry, who report that their 'usual' address is their home address where their partner and children live, but not the actual residence where they have or intend to spend six months or more, as required on the Census form. Therefore, some of these employees may not be counted according to their usual place of residence due to the respondent not interpreting the question correctly.


Lived somewhere else in WA 5 years earlier

Of the 42.2% of Western Australians who moved between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, almost two-thirds (62.2%) had moved outside their SLA in Western Australia. The Perth metropolitan area had one of the lowest mobility proportions of all regions in Western Australia. Approximately half of Perth residents (49% or 663,948 persons) had not moved from their usual address between the 2001 and 2006 Census and a further 12.4% who had moved, had moved to another address in the same SLA. Of the 583,668 persons who were counted living in Perth in the 2006 Census who had moved, 77.4% had moved within Western Australia.

INTRA-STATE MOBILITY IN WA, Net regional movements: 2006
Graph: intra-state mobility in wa, Net regional movements: 2006


Approximately 4.4% (47,450) of Western Australians moved to Perth from another region in WA during the period 2001 to 2006. Of these, 28% moved to Perth from the South-West, 15% from the Midlands region and 13% from the Pilbara region. Over the same period, 4.2% (45,752) moved from Perth to another region in WA; Of these, 42.4% moved to the South-West, 14.5% to the Midlands region and 10.7% to the Pilbara. Therefore, Perth had a small net gain of people between 2001 and 2006 (0.2% or 1,698 people).

All regions except for the South-West had more people moving to Perth than from Perth. More people moved from the Perth region to the South West between 2001 and 2006, rather than moving from the South-West to Perth (net movement -14.4% or a net loss of 6,907 people). The South West is a popular destination for persons looking for a sea or tree change after they have retired or a lifestyle change at any age.

The Pilbara region had a more mobile population between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses. Almost half (44.1% or 19,505) the population counted as living in the Pilbara region at the time of the 2006 Census, had moved since the 2001 Census. Half of the movers (50.3%) had moved from another region in WA. Not surprisingly the current resources boom has influenced the mobility characteristics of persons in the Pilbara region.


Internal mover demographics

The median age of all persons counted in Western Australia at the time of the 2006 Census was 36 years. The median age of persons who had moved within WA between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses was three years younger (33 years) while the median age of people who had not moved was 46 years. The age differences between people who had moved and those who did not move, as shown in the graph below, probably reflects the tendency for younger people to be more mobile when looking for employment opportunities or moving for personal reasons such as changes in marital status or leaving the family home.

Diagram: Internal mover demographics

There were some regional differences, though these largely reflect the age profiles of the regions. The Pilbara and Kimberley regions had younger age profiles (median age of 31 and 33 years respectively), therefore they also had the youngest profile of persons who did not move (median 39 years for Pilbara and 33 years for the Kimberley) and persons who did move (median years 31 and 32 years respectively).

INTRA-STATE MOBILITY IN WA, AGE DISTRIBUTION AND MEDIAN AGE, WA Statistical Divisions

Age Group
Perth
South West
Lower Great Southern
Upper Great Southern
Midlands
South Eastern
Central
Pilbara
Kimberley
Total

NUMBER

5 - 14
69 381
14 107
3 433
973
3 113
3 442
3 818
2 778
1 369
102 414
15 - 24
80 155
11 590
2 860
1 023
2 371
3 246
3 209
2 270
1 374
108 111
25 - 34
96 327
12 745
3 142
1 057
2 732
4 034
3 673
3 634
1 911
129 285
35 - 44
81 315
13 531
3 270
849
2 852
3 360
3 675
3 089
1 580
113 548
45 - 54
56 256
10 699
2 602
666
2 335
2 157
2 604
1 857
1 205
80 388
55 - 64
35 089
9 062
1 963
567
2 047
1 068
1 768
714
574
52 855
65 and over
32 214
9 087
1 873
487
1 421
620
1 458
199
258
47 617
Total
381 356
66 714
15 710
4 649
13 758
14 485
16 387
11 763
6 902
531 804

PERCENTAGE

5 - 14
18.2
21.1
21.9
20.9
22.6
23.8
23.3
23.6
19.8
19.3
15 - 24
21.0
17.4
18.2
22.0
17.2
22.4
19.6
19.3
19.9
20.3
25 - 34
25.3
19.1
20.0
22.7
19.9
27.8
22.4
30.9
27.7
24.3
35 - 44
21.3
20.3
20.8
18.3
20.7
23.2
22.4
26.3
22.9
21.4
45 - 54
14.8
16.0
16.6
14.3
17.0
14.9
15.9
15.8
17.5
15.1
55 - 64
9.2
13.6
12.5
12.2
14.9
7.4
10.8
6.1
8.3
9.9
65 and over
8.4
13.6
11.9
10.5
10.3
4.3
8.9
1.7
3.7
9.0
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Median Age - Intra-state
32.0
36.0
35.0
32.0
35.0
30.0
33.0
31.0
32.0
33.0
Median Age - Total population
36.0
39.0
39.0
39.0
40.0
32.0
36.0
31.0
30.0
36.0


Almost equal proportions of males and females indicated in the 2006 Census that they had moved between the 2001 and 2006 Census (47.4% and 47.9% respectively). Of these movers, similar proportions of males and females moved to another region within WA (49.2% compared to 49.6% respectively). There also appeared to be no distinct proportional differences between the movement of males and females in regional areas.

Relationships and household formation is also important in defining the characteristics of internal movers in Western Australia. Of those who had moved within WA between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, 44.8% lived in couple with children households (49.3% for total WA), and 21.9% lived in couple only households (21.4% for total WA). A further one in ten movers (10.9%) lived in lone person households (10.5% for WA). In the Pilbara region, 55.9% of movers lived in couple with children households for WA, whereas in the South-West one-quarter (25.4%) of movers lived in couple only households. The region with the highest proportion of movers living in lone person households was the Upper Great Southern region (13.2%).


Labour force characteristics

Labour force status can offer some insight into differences in mobility patterns: for example employed persons were less likely to move to a different region within Western Australia, than unemployed persons. Of the employed persons living in WA, 370,191 or 39.5% had moved within WA between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, whereas 41.3% or 15,127 unemployed persons had moved over the same period. Unemployed persons who had previously lived in regions outside of Perth at the time of the 2001 Census, were proportionately more likely to move to Perth (7.7%) compared with employed persons (4.1%).

Again it should be noted, when using labour force status to analyse mobility, that a person's labour force status is only recorded for the 2006 Census: thus it is unknown what labour force status a person had when they moved or changes to their status occurred, between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses.

Persons who were not in the labour force at the time of the 2006 Census, were the least likely to move between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses (29.5% or 141,086 persons moved within WA). The median age of these movers was 61 years, in all likelihood reflecting the movement of retirees. This is further supported by regional movement analysis, where one-third (33.8%) of movers to the South-West region were not in the labour force.

Industry and occupation analysis also highlights whether employment is an important factor in movement within Western Australia. Of employed persons who were counted as living in WA in 2006, more than one-third (32.5%) had moved within the same region, while 7.1% had moved to another region. Not surprisingly people employed in the mining industry were more likely to move within WA (44.5%). In the mining industry, 14.7% had moved from another region in WA. Employed persons working in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had the lowest proportion of movers within WA (26.8%) and the professional, scientific and technical services industry were the least likely to move to another region within WA (4.7%).

INDUSTRY MOBILITY, Persons who moved to another region in WA - 2006 Census
Graph: Industry mobility, Persons who moved to another region in WA—2006 Census


Not surprisingly, employees in the Pilbara and South Eastern regions of WA were highly mobile; 48.1% of employed people counted in the Pilbara region had moved in the five years prior to the 2006 Census and 42.5% of employed people in the South Eastern region (compared with 39.5% for WA). There were some industries in these regions that did influence mobility patterns more than others. The largest number of people employed in the Pilbara worked in the mining and construction industries (7,836 persons or 40.1%). In the Pilbara, 46.7% of people employed in the mining industry and 50.9% of people employed in the construction industry, had moved in the five years between the 2001 and 2006 Census.

Of all occupational groups, the professionals and technicians and trades occupation groups had the highest mobility proportions (40.2% and 40.3% respectively). Professionals accounted for 18.6% (173,955) of all employed persons in WA at the time of the 2006 Census. Of the professionals that had moved, 82.9% had moved within the same region and a further 17.1% had moved to another region within WA. Of the professionals who moved to another region, one-third (33.5%) were education professionals and a further 19.6% were design, engineering, science and transport professionals. In the technician and trade occupation group, 82.4% had moved within the same region and a further 17.6% had moved to another region in WA. Of the technicians and trade occupations who moved to another region, 30% were automotive and engineering trades workers, 16.7% construction trades workers and a further 16.2% were engineering, ICT and science technicians.

Mobility among persons (aged 15 years or more) between 2001 and 2006 with a post-school qualification was higher than among persons with no qualifications (38.6% compared to 35.4%). Of qualified persons, people with a certificate were slightly more likely to move (40.2%) compared to persons with a bachelor degree or higher (38%). Also people with a certificate were more likely to move to another region within WA (8.2%) compared to people with a bachelor degree or higher (6.5%).

Individual median income, in conjunction with industry and occupation data, could be a useful indicator in determining incentives for a person to move within WA. The median income measure applies only to employed persons. The median weekly income of employed persons who moved within WA was $779 per week ($40,508 pa), which was $24 per week more than for the total employed WA population ($755 per week). Median income differences between persons who moved within the same region and those who moved to a different region, were slightly different ($778 per week and $784 per week respectively).


REFERENCES

ABS 2008, Australian Demographic Statistics, cat. no. 3101.0.

ABS 2007, Unpublished 2006 Census data available upon request.

ABS 2006, Australian Historical Population Statistics, cat. no. 3105.0.65.001.

ABS 2006, Housing Motivations and Intentions, Western Australia, cat. no. 8710.5.

Department of Immigration and Citizenship 2008, Immigration update 2006-07: settler arrivals.


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