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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
GRAPH 1: Proportion of migrants by visa stream, by location, all permanent migrants - 2011
Three quarters (75%) of migrants who had arrived in Australia since 1 January 2000 were from non main English-speaking countries (offshore 51%, onshore 24%) while 24% were from main English-speaking countries (offshore 15%, onshore 8.8%).
Most Humanitarian stream applicants were from non main English speaking countries (offshore 97%, onshore 98%).
Main/secondary applicant status
The 'main applicant' is generally the person whose skills or proposed activities in Australia are assessed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) as part of their visa application. They will usually have been specifically identified on the application form as the 'main applicant'.
The 'secondary applicant' is a person whose visa was granted on the basis of being the family member (e.g. spouse, dependent child) of a person who qualified for a visa. They will have been identified on the visa application as an 'other' or secondary applicant with the person who met the visa criteria being specifically identified on the visa application as the 'main applicant'. Secondary applicants are included in the same visa stream as the main applicant. For example, family members granted permanent visas where the main applicant has been granted a Skilled stream visa, will all enter Australia under a Skilled stream visa.
Main applicants accounted for over half (59%) of all migrants who arrived in Australia since 1 January 2000, whilst the remainder (41%) were secondary applicants. In terms of all arrivals, 28% entered Australia as main applicants within the Family stream, 26% as main applicants in the Skilled stream and 4.2% as main applicants in the Humanitarian stream.
While the proportion of main applicants in the Skilled and Family streams was comparable there were quite pronounced differences in the context of secondary applicant arrivals. Secondary visa applicants in the Skilled stream accounted for 30% of all arrivals while secondary visa applicants in the Family stream accounted for 4.9% of all arrivals. Secondary applicants in the Humanitarian stream accounted for 6.6% of all arrivals during the reference period.
GRAPH 2: Proportion of migrants by visa stream, by applicant status, all permanent migrants - 2011
Age by location and applicant status
Australia's Skilled stream migration program preselects for people who are of working age. Within the Skilled stream, 66% of onshore applicants were in the 25 to 44 year age group while 50% of offshore applicants were in the same age group. Within the Family stream, 73% of onshore applicants and 57% of offshore applicants were in the same 25 to 44 year age group. In contrast, 57% of onshore and 35% of offshore applicants in the Humanitarian stream were in this age group.
There was a greater proportion (33%) of permanent migrants in the Humanitarian stream in the younger age groups of 0 to 19 years of age than in the other migration streams. However, there was quite a contrast in terms of whether the person was an onshore or offshore visa applicant with 14% of onshore applicants in the Humanitarian stream being aged 0 to 19 years while the proportion for offshore applicants was 36%. Overall, 24% of Skilled stream and 11% of Family stream arrivals were in the 0 to 19 year age group.
Within the 65 years and over age group, the Family stream had the highest proportion with 5.8% of arrivals compared with 2.6% for the Humanitarian stream and less than one per cent for the Skilled stream.
GRAPH 3: Proportion of migrants by age, by location, by visa stream, all permanent migrants - 2011
Source: Migrants CDE Integrated Dataset, 2011
The age profile of those migrants who arrived in Australia since 1 January 2000 shows a different picture when considered from a main versus secondary applicant perspective. For main visa applicants, the majority of all migrants, regardless of visa stream, fell within the 25 to 44 years of age range. Main applicants aged 25 to 44 years of age in the Skilled stream accounted for 80% of Skilled stream main applicant arrivals, compared with 69% for main applicants in the Family stream and 61% for main applicants in the Humanitarian stream.
However, there were observable differences between the visa streams for secondary applicants. For Skilled stream secondary applicants, 44% were aged between 0 and 19 years of age and 36% were aged 25 to 44 years. This compares with the Family and Humanitarian streams where the 0 to 19 year age group accounted for 52% and 51% respectively while the 25 to 44 years age group accounted for 11% of Family stream secondary applicants and 25% of Humanitarian stream secondary applicants.
GRAPH 4: Proportion of migrants by age, by applicant status, by visa stream, all permanent migrants - 2011
Source: Migrants CDE Integrated Dataset, 2011
Most (81%) Skilled stream migrants aged 15 years and over who have arrived since 1 January 2000 were in the labour force on Census night 2011 with 76% employed (54% full-time, 18% part-time). Of those employed Skilled stream migrants, 37% were aged between 25 and 34 years, while 36% were aged 35 to 44 years. By comparison, 62% of Family stream migrants and 40% of Humanitarian stream migrants were in the labour force. Less than a fifth of Skilled stream migrants (19%) were not in the labour force, while 37% of Family stream migrants and over half (56%) of Humanitarian stream migrants were not in the labour force. Only 4.9% of Skilled stream migrants were unemployed, compared with 6.4% of Family stream migrants and 8.7% of Humanitarian stream migrants.
There were observable differences in labour force status depending upon whether the migrant was a main applicant or a secondary applicant.
For migrants in the Skilled stream:
For migrants in the Family stream:
For migrants in the Humanitarian stream:
GRAPH 5: Labour force status, by visa stream, permanent migrants 15 years and over - 2011
In general, Skilled stream migrants aged 15 years and over had higher incomes per week than migrants in the Family and Humanitarian streams. Almost 21% of Skilled stream migrants had an income exceeding $1,500 per week compared with 8.3% of Family stream migrants and 1.3% of Humanitarian stream migrants.
Conversely, Humanitarian stream migrants aged 15 years and over generally had lower weekly incomes than people in the other two streams. Over 72% of Humanitarian stream migrants had incomes of less than $600 per week. This compared with 58% of Family stream migrants and 38% of Skilled stream migrants.
The most common (21%) weekly income range for Skilled stream migrants was $600 - $999 per week. Most Family stream migrants (22%) had a negative or nil income with another fifth also in the lowest income group ($1 - $299 per week). For Humanitarian stream migrants almost 42% were in the lowest income group ($1 - $299 per week) whilst 21% earned between $300-$599 per week.
GRAPH 6: Individual weekly income, by visa stream, permanent migrants 15 years and over - 2011
Proficiency in English
Over one third (35%) of Skilled stream migrants aged 5 years and over spoke only English. This compares with 29% of Family stream migrants. As most Humanitarian stream migrants were not born in main English speaking countries, their self reported English proficiency was likely to be lower than for other migrant groups. The integrated data showed that only 4.9% of Humanitarian stream migrants spoke only English.
In addition, almost 60% of Skilled stream migrants spoke English either very well or well in addition to speaking another language. This is not surprising given the English language proficiency requirements associated with a main applicant's application for a Skilled stream visa.
The proportion of Family stream migrants who spoke English very well or well where another language was spoken was 52%.
Although most Humanitarian stream migrants come from non main English speaking countries, this does not necessarily mean that they are not proficient in English. While the proportion of Humanitarian stream migrants speaking only English was low, almost 62% indicated that they spoke English very well or well. However, 30% of Humanitarian stream migrants said they didn't speak English well or at all, which was substantially more than the proportion of migrants in the other two streams.
Proficiency in English can have some bearing on being able to enter the labour force. For Humanitarian stream migrants who spoke English either very well or well, in addition to another language, 40% of those over 15 years of age were employed. This compares with 76% for those in the Skilled stream. Conversely, for those Humanitarian stream migrants who did not speak English well or at all, only 16% were employed. In addition, 75% of those Humanitarian stream migrants who did not speak English well or at all were not in the labour force. This compares with 41% for the Skilled stream migrants with similar levels of English language proficiency.
GRAPH 7: Proficiency in spoken English, by visa stream, permanent migrants 5 years and over - 2011
On Census night 2011 a higher proportion of Skilled stream and Family stream migrants aged 15 years and over had completed a Postgraduate degree (18% and 8.0% respectively) compared with those in the Humanitarian stream (1.3%). A similar distribution was observed for those migrants who had completed a Bachelor degree. Almost a third of Skilled stream migrants had completed a Bachelor degree (31%) compared with 23% of Family stream migrants and 6.5% of Humanitarian stream migrants.
Within the Humanitarian stream, 12% of migrants had completed a Certificate level qualification, however, the highest proportion recorded 'not applicable' for their level of non-school qualification (63%). The 'not applicable' category included persons who have a qualification that is out of scope of the classification, persons with no qualifications and persons still studying for a first qualification.
GRAPH 8: Non-school qualifications, by visa stream, permanent migrants 15 years and over - 2011
Amongst the top ten countries of birth for Skilled stream migrants, only Zimbabwe had a greater proportion of migrants who reported as Australian citizens in the 2011 Census (58%). Similarly, the majority of Family stream migrants from the top ten countries of birth were not yet Australian citizens. The only exception to this were people born in Lebanon where around half (51%) reported being an Australian citizen. For migrants from the top ten countries of birth in the Humanitarian stream, only Thailand, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and Sri Lanka had a higher proportion of people who reported that they were not yet an Australian citizen (78%, 75% and 60% respectively).
The proportion of migrants gaining citizenship tends to increase with each successive year after arrival. This is to be expected considering there is an eligibility period before a permanent resident can apply for Australian Citizenship. Therefore, users should exercise caution when comparing citizenship rates. Migrants from countries such as India and China may appear to have a substantial number of permanent residents who are not yet Australian citizens, however, as they form part of the most recent arrival groups it is possible that many are not yet eligible for Australian citizenship.
GRAPH 9: Australian Citizenship, by visa stream, by year of arrival, all permanent migrants - 2011
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service.
Phone: 1300 135 070
Fax: 1300 135 211
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