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This variable records the year of arrival in Australia for people born overseas who intend staying in Australia for at least one year. In 1996, data were collected in categories ranging from 'Before 1981' to '1996'. For 2001 data were collected by single year with valid responses being in the range 1890 to 2001.
When cross-classified with other census data, these data are useful for analysing how the characteristics of migrants change with length of time in Australia.
A question on year of first arrival has been included in all Australian censuses since 1911. In censuses prior to 1991, the question was asked in terms of number of completed years residence in Australia.
For the 2001 Census the category 'Overseas visitor' consists of those people who report they usually reside in another country.
People born overseas who answer they usually reside in Australia, but who also answer they would be in Australia less than one year, are coded to the category 'Not stated'.
This variable is coded 'Not applicable' for people born in Australia.
A check is made to ensure that a person's stated age is compatible with period of residence.