3412.0 - Migration, Australia, 2000-01 and 2001-02  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/05/2003   
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  • In 2001-02, 54% of Australia's population growth was from net overseas migration. The preliminary estimate of net overseas migration was 133,700, while natural increase was 115,900 and total growth was 249,500.
  • Net overseas migration in 2000-01 was the highest (135,700) since 1988-89, continuing the upward trend since 1996-97.
  • In 2001-02, net permanent movement contributed 40,700 people (30%) to net overseas migration, while net long-term movement contributed 93,000 people (70%). From September quarter 1997, category jumping has been set to zero due to problems with its estimation - see Chapter 5, 'Category Jumping'.
  • New South Wales received the largest share of net overseas migration (38%), which exceeded the share of population of Australia living there (34%). Victoria had the second largest share of net overseas migration (26%), followed by Queensland (19%), Western Australia (13%) and South Australia (3%). Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (less than 1% each) had the smallest shares.
  • The contribution of net overseas migration to total population growth ranged from 79% in New South Wales to 32% in Queensland, which was lowest partly due to the large contribution of net interstate migration to population growth in Queensland.

  • Net permanent movement comprised 40,700 people in 2001-02, a decrease of 20,200 people compared with 2000-01.
  • There were 88,900 permanent (settler) arrivals in 2001-02, a decrease of 17% on the previous year. Much of this decrease was attributable to a decrease in New Zealand-born settler arrivals, from 40,800 in 2000-01 to 21,600 in 2001-02.
  • In 2001-02, one in four (24%) permanent arrivals had been born in New Zealand and 8.5% in the United Kingdom. People born in China were the next largest group (6.5%).
  • There were 48,200 permanent departures in 2001-02, an increase of 3.7% on 2000-01 and the highest level recorded over the past two decades.
  • Of all permanent departures, people born in Australia comprised 50% in 2001-02, the same proportion as in 2000-01.

  • In 2001-02, net long-term movement contributed 93,000 people, an increase of 18,200 from 2000-01.
  • In 1999-2000, for the first time, net long-term movement made a greater contribution to net overseas migration than did net permanent movement. Continuing this trend, there was more than twice as much net long-term movement in 2001-02 as net permanent movement.
  • Over the past 20 years, the number of long-term arrivals to Australia has increased nearly three-fold, increasing from 92,600 in 1981-82 to 264,500 in 2001-02. There has been a similar increase in long-term departures, rising from 66,800 to 171,500 over the same period.
  • Overseas visitors comprised 46% of all long-term departures in 2001-02, up from 44% in 2000-01 and 30% in 1981-82. This trend has corresponded with an increase in long-term visitor arrivals. While overseas visitors comprised 38% of long-term arrivals in 1981-82, they comprised 66% of long-term arrivals in 2001-02.
  • Education continued to be the main reason for long-term travel to Australia, accounting for 48% of long-term overseas arrivals in 2001-02.
  • More than one-third of Australian residents departing long-term travelled to the United Kingdom (35%) as their main destination in 2001-02, while one in ten (10%) stated that the United States of America was their main destination.

  • At 30 June 2001, Australia's overseas-born residents comprised 4.5 million, 23% of the total estimated resident population (19.4 million).
  • Over the five years to 30 June 2001, the number of overseas-born residents increased by 5.2%, from 4.3 million at 30 June 1996. This is slightly lower than the rate of growth in the total population, which was 6.0% over the same period.
  • At 30 June 2001, 12% of the Australian population had been born in Europe and the former USSR. About half of these (6%) were born in the United Kingdom and Ireland. People born in the three Asian regions (South-East Asia, North-East Asia and South and Central Asia) together comprised 5.5% of Australia's population.
  • The 2001 Census showed that, although 63% of the overseas-born population lived in either New South Wales or Victoria, Western Australia had the highest proportion of overseas-born residents in its population (29%). Tasmania had the lowest proportion (11%), and the Northern Territory the second lowest (16%).

  • According to The Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA), around 2,400 unauthorised entrants arrived in Australia during 2001-02, a decrease of 57% from 2000-01. Most of this decrease was due to a large decrease (71%) in the number of unauthorised entrants by boat.
  • Of all unauthorised entrants in 2001-02, 50% arrived by boat and 50% by air, compared with 73% arriving by boat in 2000-01.
  • At 30 June 2002 there were approximately 60,000 overstayers in Australia (not including unauthorised arrivals), the same as at 30 June 2001.

  • The number of interstate moves increased by 2.9%, from 380,900 in 2000-01 to 392,100 in 2001-02.
  • Queensland and Victoria were the only two states or territories to experience a net gain from interstate migration during 2001-02. Queensland's gain of 29,000 persons was an increase of 45% over the preceeding year, while Victoria's gain of 6,200 was a 21% increase.
  • New South Wales had the largest net interstate migration outflow during 2001-02 (-23,800 people). The second highest net outflow was from Western Australia (-4,200) followed by the Northern Territory (-2,800).
  • Although total net migration (including both interstate and overseas migration) was relatively low in the two territories, they were the areas which experienced the highest population turnover during the twelve months to 30 June 2002 (19% in the Northern Territory and 17% the Australian Capital Territory).
  • In 2001-02, the median age of interstate migrants was 28 years. The Northern Territory (median age 26 years) and the Australian Capital Territory (26 years) received the youngest interstate migrants. Queensland and Tasmania (both with median age 30 years) received the oldest interstate migrants.