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FEATURE ARTICLE 2: SPOTLIGHT ON NET OVERSEAS MIGRATION
At June 2018, Australia's Estimated Resident Population (ERP) was 24,992,369, an increase of 390,509 (or 1.6%) since 30 June 2017.
Australia's population growth can be split into two components - Natural increase (the surplus of births over deaths) and Net Overseas Migration.
Since 2005, Net Overseas Migration has accounted for over half of Australia's population growth. Prior to that, Natural increase generally made a larger contribution to Australia's population growth.
In the year to June 2018, Net Overseas Migration contributed (236,733) persons or (60.6%) of the annual increase in Australia's population, while Natural increase contributed 153,775 people or 39.4% of the increase.
While Natural increase is relatively stable over time, the level of Net Overseas Migration is much more subject to change. As a result, changes in Australia's population growth rate are largely driven by changes in Net Overseas Migration.
Footnote(s): (a) Annual components calculated at the end of each quarter. (b) For further information on each component of population change, see the Explanatory Notes. (c) NOM estimates have been calculated using a range of methods over the period, and include a break in series at September 2006 , see Explanatory Notes 12-17.
Source(s): Australian Demographic Statistics, June quarter 2018
WHAT IS NET OVERSEAS MIGRATION?
Migration refers to an instance of a person changing their place of residence across a defined boundary. This can be between countries (overseas migration), or areas within a country, such as between states or between Local Government Areas (internal migration).
Statistics on Net Overseas Migration, (often referred to simply as NOM), are sometimes misinterpreted as the number of people arriving to live in Australia. However, NOM represents the net difference between two flows which are often larger; the number of people arriving to live in Australia (also sometimes referred to as immigrants) and the number of people leaving Australia to live overseas (emigrants).
If more people arrive to live in Australia than leave Australia to live overseas, NOM will be a positive number. If more people depart than arrive, NOM will be negative.
In the year to June 2018, 525,698 people arrived to live in Australia while 288,965 people left Australia to live overseas. Net Overseas Migration was therefore 236,733 persons.
Source(s): Australian Demographic Statistics, June quarter 2018
Temporary visa holders
People with Temporary visas to undertake higher education (104,485 persons) comprised over one in five of all arrivals (20.1%), in the year to June 2018. They also comprised almost one third (32.2%) of all Temporary visa migrants over the same period.
A further 14.8% (or 78,020 persons) arrived with Visitor visas (for tourism, business and medical purposes) and 9.4% for working holidays.
Although most Visitor visas only allow persons to stay in Australia for a maximum of three months at a time, some people who visit may then return a month or two later, for example, on a student visa. As long as these people stay in Australia for a sufficient period to satisfy the 12/16 rule, they will be counted in the Australian population from the time of this first visit.
Many people with Temporary visas may stay in Australia for several years, some eventually transitioning to Permanent visa status. It should be noted that NOM statistics record the visa held at the time of a person's NOM arrival in (or NOM departure from) Australia, rather than any subsequent visa change while living here (or overseas).
Permanent visa holders
Of the 87,775 people with Permanent visas (in the year to June 2018), those with Permanent Skilled visas accounted for 8.2% of arrivals, followed by Permanent Family visas with 5.0%. Residents with Permanent Humanitarian visas comprised 2.3% of the recent national total.
Not all Permanent visa holders choose to remain in Australia permanently. In the year to June 2018, 21,227 people holding Permanent visas left Australia to live overseas, representing 7.3% of all departures.
The Department of Home Affairs manages the granting of permanent visas each year under Australia's migration and humanitarian programs. There can be delays between a visa being granted and its actual use by an applicant to enter Australia. Some travellers who have been granted a permanent visa may not stay in Australia long enough to be considered a resident, or they may not travel to Australia at all. In addition, some people may apply for and be granted a permanent visa when they are already counted in Australia's population.
People from Australia and New Zealand
Australian citizens moving to live overseas accounted for nearly one in three departures (90,742 persons or 31.4%). Australian citizens also contributed 77,338 or 14.5% of arrivals. These were generally people returning to Australia after a period of living overseas,
Citizens from New Zealand comprised 5.8% of arrivals (30,236) and 8.2% of departures (23,543), in the twelve months to June 2018.
MAIN COUNTRIES OF BIRTH
Top 10 Countries
In the twelve months to June 2018, China was the top Country of birth for migrant arrivals, contributing 82,546 people (or 15.7% of all arrivals in this period). Next ranked were: India (12.8%); Australia (9.1%), the United Kingdom (5.6%) and New Zealand (4.2%). Nepal has recently emerged as a major source of migrants to Australia, with 4.1% (or 21,667 people) having been born there.
The top country of birth for departures was Australia (with 66,844 persons or 23.1% of the total). Other prominent Countries of birth were: China (contributing 12.7%); United Kingdom (7.2%); New Zealand ( 6.2%); and India (4.2%).
In net migration terms, Indian born people were the largest group with 55,022 more people immigrating to Australia than emigrating, followed by the Chinese born (45,840 persons). Similar levels of Net Overseas Migration for persons born in India and China in previous years have contributed to an increase in the proportion of Australians born in China from 1.3% in 2007 to 2.5% in 2017, and for India from 1.0% to 2.2%. For more information, please see Migration, Australia (cat. no 3412.0).
In contrast, Australian born people recorded negative net overseas migration, with 19,079 more leaving Australia than arriving or returning (in the year to June 2018).
NOM - Age of Arrivals and Departures
The majority of migrants to Australia are young adults, with 61.2% aged between 18 and 34 years.
People arriving in Australia are slightly younger than those who are departing. The median age of arrivals (in the year to June 2018) was 25.9 years while the corresponding median for departures was 27.9 years. In contrast the overall Australian population was considerably older with a median age of 37.3 years.
The median age of migrants can differ substantially across different visa categories. People with Temporary Student visas (median age 22.2 years) and Permanent Humanitarian visas (22.7 years) tended to be the youngest arrivals.
WHERE DO NEW ARRIVALS SETTLE?
Over two thirds (67%) of people in Australia live in a capital city region. (See Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2016-7, (cat. no. 3218.0)). A higher proportion of migrant arrivals to Australia (85.4%) reside in capital city regions (85.4%), with Greater Sydney (32.4%) and Greater Melbourne (27.3%) being the most common destinations.
Morel information about NOM and its components can be found in Migration, Australia, (cat. no. 3412.0).
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