Australian Bureau of Statistics

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About the National Migrant Statistics Unit

In July 2006 the ABS created a National Migrant Statistics Unit (NMSU) in response to the need for an enhanced statistical evidence base to support community and government policy related to migrants, their settlement outcomes and ethnic groups. The NMSU operates with support from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP, formerly the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)). The unit aims to meet the migrant related data needs across all levels of government and the general public. While other government agencies and researchers already undertake regular data analysis and research activity, an enhanced ABS role will provide statistical leadership in the area of migrant and ethnicity statistics, while also improving data access and co-ordination.

In recent years there has been increasing community and policy interest in the population group of migrants and the issue of ethnicity more generally. Government policies at all levels recognise the contributions that can, or could, be made by migrants and different ethnic groups to society, both economically and socially.

The role of the NMSU includes:

    • maintain a dialogue with key stakeholders regarding emerging issues, data gaps and needs;
    • develop statistical information related to migrants and ethnicity (analyses and other products);
    • provide statistical leadership and coordination in the field of migrant and ethnicity statistics;
    • the development of standards and concepts;
    • advancing migrant and ethnicity issues with the ABS (relating to standards, survey content and design);
    • facilitating client requests relating to data on aspects of the population related to migrants as well as ethnicity; and
    • keeping abreast of emerging issues in relation to migrants and ethnicity and actively facilitating statistical responses where appropriate.

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