3412.0 - Migration, Australia, 2009-10 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/06/2011   
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16 June 2011
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

6 million migrants call Australia home

Almost 6 million migrants, born in over 200 countries, live in Australia. According to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 27% of Australia's resident population were born overseas, as at June 2010.

People born in the United Kingdom continued to be the largest group of overseas-born residents, accounting for 1.2 million people. The next largest group was born in New Zealand with 544,000 people, followed by China (380,000 people), India (341,000) and Italy (216,000).

Over the last decade, the proportion of those born in the UK declined from 5.9% of Australia's population in 2000 to 5.3% in 2010. In contrast, the proportions increased for people born in New Zealand (from 1.9% to 2.4%), China (from 0.8% to 1.7%) and India (from 0.5% to 1.5%).

The majority (76%) of overseas-born residents were of working age, 15–64 years at June 2010. Migrants born in Asia, America and Africa had proportionally larger young (0–14 years) and working age (15–64 years) populations compared to those from Europe.

In 2009–10, net overseas migration contributed the greatest number of people to the most populous states: New South Wales with a net of 66,000 persons, followed by Victoria (60,400) and Queensland (39,700). The Northern Territory had the lowest contribution with a net of 1,300 persons.

In 2008–09, the net contribution of international students to the Australian population reached a record high of 122,400 students, contributing 27% of Australia's total population growth for the year. The top three countries of birth of these students were from India with a net of 43,000 students followed by China (24,700 students) and Nepal (10,500).

Victoria recorded the highest net contribution of international students in 2008–09 (43,600 people), followed by New South Wales (40,400) and Queensland (18,300).

More information on migrants living in Australia, data on overseas and interstate migration, or international students who have contributed to net overseas migration estimates can be found in Migration, Australia 2009-10 (cat. no. 3412.0).

Media notes:
  • Net overseas migration (NOM) is the net gain or loss of population through immigration to Australia and emigration from Australia.
  • Net is the number of arrivals less the number of departures.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.