3412.0 - Migration, Australia, 2007-08 Quality Declaration 
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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.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin

The 2006 Census of Population and Housing (Household Form) asked the following question of each person:

Is the person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin?

  • For persons of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island origins, mark both 'yes' boxes.
      No
      Yes, Aboriginal
      Yes, Torres Strait Islander

Demographic statistics are based on this definition.

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.

Average annual growth rate

The average annual growth rate, r, is calculated as a percentage using the formula:

Diagram: eqG_1

where:

Equation: eqG_1ais the population at the end of the period

Equation: eqG_1bis the population at the start of the period

n is the length of the period between Equation: eqG_1aand Equation: eqG_1bin years.

Category jumping

Category jumping was the term used to describe changes between intended and actual duration of stay of travellers to/from Australia, such that their classification as short-term or as long-term/permanent movers is different at arrival/departure from that after 12 months. For more information see Migration, Australia, 2002-03, (cat. no. 3412.0), Chapter 6, 'Special article: Adjustments to overseas migration estimates'.

The Australian resident component of category jumping for a reference quarter was estimated by comparing the number of residents departing short-term in that quarter with all residents who left in that quarter and return in the following 12 months, to obtain the net number of Australian residents who 'jumped category'.

Similarly, the number of overseas visitors arriving short-term in a quarter was compared with all overseas visitors who arrived in that quarter and depart in the following 12 months, to obtain the net number of overseas visitors 'who jumped category'.

Estimates of category jumping were derived by subtracting the Australian resident component from the overseas visitor component.

Category jumping is no longer used following the implementation of the NOM 12/16 month rule.

Category of movement

Overseas arrivals and departures are classified according to length of stay (in Australia or overseas), recorded in months and days by travellers on passenger cards. There are three main categories of movement:
  • permanent movements
  • long-term movements (one year or more)
  • short-term movements (less than one year).

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 of them 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.

Census

The complete enumeration of a population or groups at a point in time with respect to well-defined characteristics (e.g. Population, Manufacturing, etc.). When the word is capitalised, "Census" usually refers to the national Census of Population and Housing.

Census collection district (CD)

The smallest geographic area for which population estimates are calculated. For more information see the Statistical Geography: Volume 1 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0).

Census count

The Census of Population and Housing enumerates persons on the basis of where they were located on Census Night. The Census also compiles information on people according to their place of usual residence. This information is coded to Census collection districts (CDs). This means that Census counts of people can be produced according to their location on Census Night as well as their place of usual residence. Characteristics of households are based on persons usually resident in a dwelling.

Country of birth

The classification of countries is the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC). For more detailed information refer to Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) Second Edition (cat. no. 1269.0).

Country of residence

Country of residence refers to the country in which travellers regard themselves as living or as last having lived.

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.

Family stream

Those categories of the Migration Program where the core eligibility criteria are based on a close family relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident sponsor. The immediate accompanying families of principal applicants in the family stream (e.g. children of spouses) are also counted as part of the family stream.

This definition of family stream is used by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) who administer the Migration Program.

Humanitarian Program

The Humanitarian Program provides protection to refugees and resettlement to those for whom it may be the appropriate durable solution. The Humanitarian Program is administered by DIAC.

Indigenous origin

Persons who identify as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Indigenous status

See Indigenous origin.

Intended length of stay

On arrival in Australia, all overseas visitors are asked to state their 'Intended length of stay in Australia'. On departure from Australia, all Australian residents are asked to state their 'Intended length of stay overseas'.

Intercensal discrepancy

Intercensal discrepancy is the difference between two estimates at 30 June of a Census year population, the first based on the latest Census and the second arrived at by updating the 30 June estimate of the previous Census year with intercensal components of population change which take account of information available from the latest Census. It is caused by errors in the start and/or finish population estimates and/or in estimates of births, deaths or migration in the intervening period which cannot be attributed to a particular source.

Intercensal error

Intercensal error is the difference between two estimates at 30 June of a Census year population, the first based on the latest Census and the second arrived at by updating the 30 June estimate of the previous Census year with intercensal components of population change which do not take account of information available from the latest Census.

Immigration

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

Internal migration

The difference between the number of persons who have changed their place of usual residence by moving into a defined geographical area within Australia and the number who have changed their place of usual residence by moving out of that defined geographical area during a specified time period. This difference may be either positive or negative.

Interstate migration

See net interstate migration.

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.

Main reason for journey

Overseas visitors/temporary entrants arriving in Australia and Australian residents departing temporarily from Australia are asked to state their main reason for journey. All statistics relating to main reason for journey use the following categories:
  • convention/conference
  • business
  • visiting friends/relatives
  • holiday
  • employment
  • education
  • other.

Main state or territory of stay

Overseas visitors are asked on departure for the name of the state or territory in which they spent the most time.

Median age

For any distribution the median age is that age which divides the relevant population into two equal parts, half falling below the value, and half exceeding it. Where the age for a particular record has not been stated, that record is excluded from the calculation.

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.

Migration effectiveness ratio (MER)

The net gain or loss of persons from or to a population divided by the total gross moves (i.e. arrivals plus departures) and expressed as a percentage. The lower the ratio the less effectiveness of migration as a process of population redistribution.

Migration Program

The annual planned (non-Humanitarian) permanent intake administrated by DIAC which regulates the number of visas granted for permanent entry from offshore and for permanent resident status onshore. It does not include New Zealand citizens, Australian citizens returning after permanently departing, residents of external territories such as Norfolk Island, and persons granted Australian citizenship overseas.

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 travellers' 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 travellers'
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 same period two years earlier.

Net overseas migration rate

The net overseas migration rate is the number of NOM travellers in a given period divided by the population sending or receiving the NOM travellers at a given period. It is calculated per 1,000 population.

Net undercount

The difference between the actual Census count (including imputations) and an estimate of the number of people who should have been counted in the Census. This estimate is based on the PES conducted after each Census. For a category of person (e.g. based on age, sex and state of usual residence), net undercount is the resultant of Census undercount, overcount, misclassification and imputation error.

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.

Other territories

Following amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 effective from July 1992, the two external territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands became part of geographical Australia. Since the 1996 Census, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and the Jervis Bay Territory (previously linked to the Australian Capital Territory for statistical purposes) comprise a pseudo 'ninth state/territory' of Australia. They are included in state nine 'Other Territories'.

Overseas arrivals and departures (OAD)

Overseas arrivals and departures (OAD) refer to the arrival or departure of persons, through Australian airports (or sea ports), which have been recorded. 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.

Place of usual residence

See usual residence.

Population age-sex pyramid

A population age-sex pyramid is a bar chart graphically representing the age structure of the population, usually in five-year age groups, for males and females separately. The age structure of the population usually approximates the shape of a pyramid because mortality progressively reduces the number in each birth cohort as it ages. The age pyramid is useful to show the existence of unusually large or small cohorts, and in this way, not only conveys a lot about a country's past demographic history, but also a great deal about its demographic future.

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.

Population growth rate

Population change over a period as a proportion (percentage) of the population at the beginning of the period.

Population mobility

Population mobility refers to the geographic movement of people where there has been a change in the place of usual residence.

Population turnover

Population turnover is the sum of interstate arrivals and departures during a year expressed as a proportion of the resident population of the state or territory at the beginning of a time period. Population turnover can also incorporate overseas arrivals and departures (as used for net overseas migration estimates) to and from each state or territory during a year.

Return migration

Return migration is the emigration of former settlers to their country of birth.

Sex ratio

The sex ratio relates to the number of males per 100 females. The sex ratio is defined for total population, at birth, at death and among age groups by selecting the appropriate numerator and denominator of the ratio.

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.

Skill stream

Those categories of the Migration Program where the core eligibility criteria are based on the applicant's employability or capacity to invest and/or do business in Australia. The immediate accompanying families of principal applicants in the skill stream are also counted as part of the skill stream.

This definition of skill stream is used by DIAC who administer the Migration Program.

State or territory of intended address/where lived

Overseas visitors are asked on arrival in Australia for their state or territory of intended address. On departure from Australia overseas visitors are asked the state or territory where they spent most time.

Australian residents are asked on departure for the state or territory in which they live/lived. Residents returning to Australia are asked for their state or territory of intended address.

State or territory of intended stay

See State or territory of intended address/where lived.

State or territory of usual residence

State or territory of usual residence refers to the state or territory and SLA 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 or has lived. State or territory of intended residence is derived from the intended address given by settlers, 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.

State or territory where spent most time

See Main state or territory of stay.

Statistical division (SD)

Statistical divisions (SDs) consist of one or more statistical subdivisions (SSDs). The divisions are designed to be relatively homogeneous regions characterised by identifiable social and economic units within the region, under the unifying influence of one or more major towns or cities. Further information concerning SDs is contained in Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0).

Statistical local area (SLA)

Statistical local areas (SLAs) are, in most cases, identical with, or have been formed from a division of, whole local government areas (LGAs). In other cases, they represent unincorporated areas. In aggregate, SLAs cover the whole of a state or territory without gaps or overlaps. In some cases legal LGAs overlap statistical subdivision boundaries and therefore comprise two or three SLAs (Part A, Part B and, if necessary, Part C). Further information concerning SLAs is contained in Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0).

Statistical subdivision (SSD)

Statistical subdivisions (SSDs) are of intermediate size, between statistical local area (SLA) and statistical division (SD). In aggregate, they cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. They are defined as socially and economically homogeneous regions characterised by identifiable links between the inhabitants. In the non-urban areas an SSD is characterised by identifiable links between the economic units within the region, under the unifying influence of one or more major towns or cities. Further information concerning SSDs is contained in Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0).

Step migration

Step migration is the emigration of former settlers to a country other than their country of birth.

Temporary NOM arrivals

Temporary NOM arrivals are all temporary 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 but are not migrating permanently.

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.

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.