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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
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Contents >> Population >> International migration

Each year Australia's population increases as a result of net overseas migration (the excess of permanent and long-term arrivals over permanent and long-term departures) and natural increase (the excess of births over deaths).

Although traditionally Australia's population growth has come predominantly from natural increase, in 2002-03 the preliminary estimate of net overseas migration (125,300 persons) was 52% of Australia's population growth for the year (see table 5.1). (This preliminary estimate of net overseas migration in 2002-03 was subsequently revised to 116,498 persons (table 5.31).)

Overseas migration has played an important role in changing Australia's population. In the year ended 30 June 2003, 392,917 persons arrived in Australia intending to stay for one year or more (table 5.31). This included permanent (settler) arrivals, Australian residents returning from an overseas trip of 12 months or more, and overseas visitors intending to stay 12 months or more in Australia. There were 276,419 persons who left Australia for overseas on a permanent or long-term basis in the year ended 30 June 2003, including Australian residents emigrating or going overseas for 12 months or more, and overseas visitors leaving Australia after staying for 12 months or more.

Because population estimates include permanent and long-term movers and exclude short-term movers, adjustments are required for the net effect of changes in travel intention from short-term to permanent/long-term and vice versa. For example, an Australian resident may state on departure an intention to stay abroad for less than 12 months (a short-term movement). If this resident remains overseas for 12 months or more, he or she has changed travel category from short-term to long-term. Further, some movers travelling for 12 months or more may take short trips home; these short trips need to be excluded to give a good measure of net overseas migration.

Recently, a new method of adjusting overseas migration numbers has been developed by the ABS. The new method produces preliminary estimates of overseas migration for the latest year, followed by revised estimates in years prior to the latest year. The new method adjusts traveller intention data for changes in traveller intention, and multiple movement.


5.31 NET OVERSEAS MIGRATION COMPONENTS - Selected years(a)

Year ended 30 June

1983
1993
1998
2001
2002
2003

Arrivals
Permanent (settlers)
93,011
76,330
77,327
107,366
84,413
89,437
Long-term
Australian residents
48,986
69,594
84,358
82,893
88,598
95,784
Overseas visitors
30,742
57,842
103,756
158,311
230,308
207,696
Total
172,739
203,766
265,441
348,570
403,319
392,917
Departures
Permanent departures
24,830
27,905
31,985
46,521
45,859
48,148
Long-term
Australian residents
47,020
65,446
79,422
92,945
167,529
145,377
Overseas visitors
25,438
47,744
74,872
73,431
79,375
82,894
Total
97,288
141,095
186,279
212,897
292,763
276,419
Category jumping(a)
-2,155
-32,629
0
0
. .
. .
Net overseas migration
73,295
30,042
79,162
135,673
110,556
(b)116,498

(a) For years ended 30 June 1998 and 2001, category jumping has been set to zero due to deficiencies in the method of estimating category jumping. Data for years ended 30 June 2002 and 2003, component figures have been adjusted.
(b) Revised.

Source: Migration, Australia (3412.0).


There has been a significant change in the source countries of permanent arrivals, with settlers arriving from more diverse regions of the world since the mid-1990s compared with the early-1980s (table 5.32). In 1982-83, 28% of settler arrivals to Australia were born in the United Kingdom, 9% were born in Vietnam and 7% were born in New Zealand. In 2002-03 the United Kingdom and New Zealand both contributed 13% of all settler arrivals, although in 2001-02 New Zealand-born settler arrivals contributed 18% of all settler arrivals in that year whereas settler arrivals born in the United Kingdom only contributed 10%. Settler arrivals born in China (7%), India (6%) and South Africa (5%) each contributed 5% or more of all settlers in 2002-03 compared with only 1%, 2% and 3% respectively in 1982-83 (table 5.32).


5.32 COUNTRY OF BIRTH OF SETTLER ARRIVALS - Selected years(a)

no.
%

1982-83

China (excl. SARs & Taiwan Prov.)
1,167
1.3
India
1,673
1.8
New Zealand
6,867
7.4
South Africa
2,758
3.0
United Kingdom
26,444
28.4
Vietnam
8,690
9.3
All settler arrivals
93,011
100.0

1992-93

China (excl. SARs & Taiwan Prov.)
3,046
4.0
India
3,553
4.7
New Zealand
6,694
8.8
South Africa
1,021
1.3
United Kingdom
9,484
12.4
Vietnam
5,651
7.4
All settler arrivals
76,330
100.0

2001-02

China (excl. SARs & Taiwan Prov.)
6,708
7.5
India
5,091
5.7
New Zealand
15,663
17.6
South Africa
5,714
6.4
United Kingdom
8,749
9.8
Vietnam
1,919
2.2
All settler arrivals
88,900
100.0

2002-03

China (excl. SARs & Taiwan Prov.)
6,664
7.1
India
5,783
6.2
New Zealand
12,368
13.2
South Africa
4,603
4.9
United Kingdom
12,508
13.3
Vietnam
2,568
2.7
All settler arrivals
93,914
100.0

(a) Information in this table is based on stated traveller intention at arrival or departure; it has not been adjusted for change in traveller intention or multiple movement.

Source: Migration, Australia (3412.0).

Migration Program

In 2002-03, 93,900 persons arrived in Australia intending to settle, the majority of whom (71%) arrived as part of the Migration Program. Of Migration Program arrivals, most arrived under the skilled migration category (41% of all permanent arrivals), while 30% of all permanent arrivals arrived under the family migration category. Another 10% of all permanent arrivals arrived as part of the Humanitarian Program, while 17% were eligible to settle in Australia because of their New Zealand citizenship.

The number of visas issued to prospective settlers varies significantly from year to year. So too does the balance between the types of visas issued. Table 5.33 shows that in the six years to 2002-03 the proportion of settlers arriving under the skilled migration category ranged from 33% in 1998-99 to 41% in 2002-03.


5.33 SETTLER ARRIVALS, By eligibility category(a)

1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03

Family
21,142
21,501
19,896
20,145
23,344
28,066
Skilled
25,985
27,931
32,350
35,715
36,036
38,504
Humanitarian
8,779
8,790
7,267
7,640
6,732
9.569
New Zealand
19,393
24,680
31,610
42,257
21,458
16,364
Other
2,028
1,241
1,149
1,609
1,330
1,411
Total
77,327
84,143
92,272
107,366
88,900
93,914

(a) Data have not been adjusted for changes in traveller intention or multiple movement.

Source: Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, 'Immigration Update’ (1996-97 to 1999-2000); Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, ‘Immigration Update’ (2000-01 to 2002-03).


Of skilled migrants arriving in 2002-03, 26% came from Europe (83% of whom were from the United Kingdom and Ireland), while South-East Asia contributed 20% and Southern Asia contributed 16%. North-East Asia contributed 15% of skilled immigrants to Australia during 2002-03, whereas Sub-Saharan Africa contributed 14%.

In 2002-03, 30% of settlers came as part of the family component of Australia's immigration program. The birthplaces of these immigrants partly reflect past migration patterns. About 25% were born in South-East Asia, 23% were born in Europe and a further 15% were born in North-East Asia.

Of the 9,600 settlers arriving under the Humanitarian Program, 5,900 (62%) came from North Africa and the Middle East. A further 1,400 immigrants (15%) arriving on humanitarian visas were born in Europe.

During 2002-03, in addition to the 76,300 settler arrivals under the Migration and Humanitarian Programs, there were a further 17,600 non-program (i.e. non-visaed) arrivals. Traditionally, non-program migrants are predominantly New Zealand citizens and they accounted for 93% of non-program migrants in 2002-03. Under the Trans-Tasman Agreement, New Zealand citizens are free to enter Australia without applying for a visa.

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