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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004   
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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, with an adjustment for category jumping) and natural increase (the excess of births over deaths).

At 30 June 2002, the ERP of Australia was 19.7 million. Over the preceding 12 months the population increased by 249,500 persons, representing a national population growth rate of 1.3% since 30 June 2001. In 2001-02 the estimate of net overseas migration was 133,700, representing 54% of Australia's population growth for the year. The net overseas migration figure is preliminary because of deficiencies which have been identified in the measurement of category jumping, resulting in category jumping being set to zero pending a review (table 5.32).

Overseas migration has played an important role in changing Australia's population. In the year ending 30 June 2003, 373,800 people arrived in Australia intending to stay for one year or more (table 5.32). 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. About 219,600 people left Australia for overseas on a permanent or long-term basis in the year ending 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 and is regarded as a category jumper. Estimates for category jumping ensure that the estimated population reflects the population who usually live in Australia. However, due to problems identified in the processing of information on traveller intentions, category jumping from September quarter 1997 has been set to zero pending a review.

5.32 NET OVERSEAS MIGRATION COMPONENTS - Selected years

Year ended 30 June

1983
1993
1998
2001
2002
2003

Arrivals
Permanent (settlers)
93,011
76,330
77,327
107,366
88,900
93,914
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
175,873
184,095
Total
172,739
203,766
265,441
348,570
353,371
373,793
Departures
Permanent departures
24,830
27,905
31,985
46,521
48,241
50,463
Long-term
Australian residents
47,020
65,446
79,422
92,945
92,071
86,211
Overseas visitors
25,438
47,744
74,872
73,431
79,375
82,894
Total
97,288
141,095
186,279
212,897
219,687
219,568
Category jumping(a)
-2,155
-32,629
-
-
-
-
Net overseas migration
73,296
30,042
79,162
135,673
133,684
154,225

(a) Deficiencies identified in the measurement of category jumping have led to the decision to set category jumping to zero for periods from September 1997, pending a review.
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 to the early-1980s. 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 settler arrivals born in the United Kingdom only contributed 10% of all settler arrivals in that year. Settler arrivals born in China (7%), India (6%) and South Africa (5%) all contributed 5% or more of all settlers in 2002-03, compared to only 1%, 2% and 3% respectively in 1982-83 (table 5.33).


5.33 COUNTRY OF BIRTH OF SETTLER ARRIVALS - Selected years

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

Source: Migration, Australia (3412.0).

Migration Program

In 2001-02, 88,900 people arrived in Australia intending to settle, the majority of whom (67%) arrived as part of the Migration Program. Another 8% arrived as part of the Humanitarian Program, while 24% 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 5.34 shows that in the six years to 2001-02, the proportion of settlers arriving under the skilled migration category ranged from 23% in 1996-97 to 41% in 2001-02.


5.34 SETTLER ARRIVALS, By eligibility category

1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02

Family
36,490
21,142
21,501
19,896
20,145
23,344
Skilled
19,697
25,985
27,931
32,350
35,715
36,036
Humanitarian
9,886
8,779
8,790
7,267
7,640
6,732
New Zealand
17,501
19,393
24,680
31,610
42,257
21,458
Other
2,178
2,028
1,241
1,149
1,609
1,330
Total
85,752
77,327
84,143
92,272
107,366
88,900

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 2001-02).


Of skilled migrants arriving in 2001-02, 20% came from Europe and the former USSR (70% of whom were from the United Kingdom and Ireland), while South-East Asia contributed 22% and Africa (excluding North Africa) contributed 18%. North-East Asia and Southern Asia contributed 16% each of skilled immigrants to Australia during 2001-02.

In 2001-02, 26% 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 Europe and the former USSR, 25% were born in South-East Asia, and a further 16% were born in North-East Asia.

Of the 6,700 settlers arriving as part of the Humanitarian Program, 2,400 (36%) came from Europe and the former USSR, almost all of whom were from Southern Europe (in particular, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). A further 2,400 immigrants (36%) arriving on humanitarian visas were born in North Africa and the Middle East.

During 2001-02, in addition to the 66,300 settler arrivals under the Migration and Humanitarian Programs, there were a further 22,600 non-program (i.e. non-visaed) arrivals. Traditionally, non-program migrants are predominantly New Zealand citizens, and they accounted for 95% of non-program migrants in 2001-02. Under the Trans-Tasman Agreement, New Zealand citizens are free to travel to Australia and remain indefinitely without applying for a visa.

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