3106.0 - Demography News, Sep 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/10/2003   
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ABS recommends that caution should be exercised when using the net overseas migration data from September quarter 1997 onwards.

Net overseas migration is the difference between the number of permanent and long-term arrivals and permanent and long-term departures plus an adjustment for category jumping, which reflects changes in travel intentions. In recent years there have been substantial changes in the patterns of passenger travel into and out of Australia, and this, combined with changes to passenger card design in July 1998, caused the ABS to become concerned about the quality of the adjustment used for category jumping. In March 2003, category jumping was set to zero from September quarter 1997 onwards, being 12 months before the introduction of a new passenger card design (see Demography Working Paper 2003/1 - Estimated Resident Population and the Measurement of Category Jumping).

The ABS is developing a new model for estimating category jumping - a statistical adjustment for changes between travellers intended and actual duration of stay. The ABS is intending to release revised estimates of net overseas migration in the June quarter 2003 edition of Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) to be released on 11 December 2003. This is expected to result in a downward revision in the levels of net overseas migration as reported in Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) from September quarter 2001 onwards.

For more information, please see the Main Features of Australian Demographic Statistics, March Quarter 2003 (cat. no. 3101.0) or contact Phil Browning on (02) 6252 7612 or phil.browning@abs.gov.au