3412.0 - Migration, Australia, 2004-05  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/03/2006   
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This publication brings together statistics on international migration into and out of Australia, interstate migration within Australia and information on overseas-born residents of Australia. Australia's migration is described in the context of the Government's migration program and in comparison with international migration experienced by other countries.


Overseas migration estimates for years up to and including 2000-01 in this publication are final. For the status of overseas migration estimates for later periods, refer to paragraph 10 of the Explanatory Notes.

Interstate migration estimates in this publication are final for years up to and including 2000-01 and preliminary for later periods.

Estimated resident population (ERP) by country of birth is final for 30 June 2001 and earlier periods. ERP for 30 June 2002, 30 June 2003, 30 June 2004 and 30 June 2005 will be further revised with the results of the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. ERP for 30 June 2005 will also be revised because of the preliminary status of net overseas migration (NOM) for 2004-05.


There are no changes in this issue.


An improved method of estimating NOM has been developed (refer paragraphs 11-12 of the Explanatory Notes). Information paper: Improved Methods for Estimating Net Overseas Migration (cat. no. 3107.0.55.003), which was released on 10 February 2006, outlines the proposed changes. It is expected that the improved methods for estimating NOM will be implemented in ABS population estimates in June 2007 with the release of the December quarter 2006 issue of Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0). For further information relating to the improved methods for estimating NOM, or the implementation of these methods, please contact Patrick Corr on Canberra (02) 6252 6411, email <patrick.corr@abs.gov.au>.


Due to changes in the methods used to adjust NOM estimates, caution should be used when comparing estimates over time.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Jason Rumley on Canberra (02) 6252 5406.



  • In 2004-05, Australia's population increased by 110,100 persons due to net overseas migration (NOM). This represented 46% of total population growth for the year.
  • Over the past two decades the percentage contribution of NOM to Australia's population growth has fluctuated from a low of 17% in 1992-93 to a high of 56% in 1987-88 and 1988-89.
  • Since 1997-98, permanent arrivals through the Skill Stream of the Migration Program have been consistently larger in number than permanent arrivals through both the Family Stream and the Humanitarian Program.
  • Skilled migrants accounted for 43% of all permanent arrivals to Australia in 2004-05. In comparison, Family Stream migrants accounted for 27% and Humanitarian Program migrants contributed 11%, while Non-Program Migration (consisting mostly of New Zealand citizens) comprised 19% of all permanent arrivals in 2004-05.

  • In 2004-05, NOM was 110,100 persons, an increase of 10% from the previous year (100,000 persons). Over the twenty years to 2004-05, NOM was highest in 1988-89 (157,400 persons) and lowest in 1992-93 (30,000 persons) (the data for 2004-05 is preliminary, refer to Technical Note in this publication).
  • In 2004-05 net permanent movement exceeded net long-term movement. Net permanent movement comprised 123,400 arrivals and 62,600 departures. Net long-term movement comprised 325,600 arrivals and 276,400 departures. The previous four years had net long-term movement exceeding net permanent movement.
  • In the year ended 30 June 2005, NOM made a positive contribution to the population size of all states and the Northern Territory. The Australian Capital Territory was the only state or territory to experience a negative effect on the population due to NOM (-255 persons). New South Wales recorded the highest gain (36,700 persons) followed by Victoria (32,300 persons).
  • Of all persons added to the Australian population through NOM in 2004-05, 70% were aged 15-34 years. In comparison, 28% of Australia's population were aged 15-34 years at 30 June 2005.
  • Persons aged 0-14 years comprised 19% of NOM, compared with 20% of Australia's population in this age group. Those aged 65 years and over comprised less than 1% of NOM and 13% of the population.

  • In 2004-05 the number of interstate movers (358,800 persons) decreased by 7% from the previous year (386,400 persons).
  • Of all states and territories, Queensland recorded the largest net population gain due to net interstate migration (31,500 persons) in 2004-05, while New South Wales recorded the largest net loss (-25,700 persons).
  • Queensland and Western Australia were the only states or territories to record average net gains due to interstate migration over the preceding ten years to 2004-05 (26,300 and 250 persons per year respectively).
  • New South Wales and South Australia recorded the largest average net population losses due to interstate migration over the preceding ten years to 2004-05 (-19,400 and -2,900 persons per year respectively).
  • The largest single interstate flow in 2004-05 was from New South Wales to Queensland (54,700 persons), while the largest net flow was a net gain for Queensland from New South Wales (20,400 persons).
  • Persons aged 20-34 years accounted for one in three interstate moves in 2004-05.
  • Queensland had a net gain of 8,600 persons in the 20-34 age group, along with the Northern Territory (880 persons) and Western Australia (390 persons).
  • New South Wales recorded the largest net loss in the 20-34 age group of 6,900 persons, followed by South Australia with a net loss of 1,500 persons.
  • Persons aged 50 years and over accounted for 16% of total interstate moves in 2004-05.
  • Queensland recorded the highest net gain for movers 50 years and over of 5,100 persons. Western Australia and Tasmania were the other states to record an overall gain with 320 and 570 persons respectively.
  • New South Wales recorded the largest net loss for interstate movers aged 50 years and over of 3,900 persons.
  • The median age for interstate movers was 29 years in 2004-05.

  • At 30 June 2005 almost one quarter (24%) of the Australian population was born overseas.
  • People born in the United Kingdom accounted for 24% of all overseas-born persons in Australia's population, followed by New Zealand (9%), Italy (5%), and China and Viet Nam (4% each).
  • The proportion of people in Australia's population born in the United Kingdom and Italy declined between 1996 and 2005, while the proportion born in China and New Zealand increased. The VietNam-born proportion remained steady.
  • The number of overseas-born Australian residents increased by 1.4% per year on average between 1996 and 2005. This was higher than that of the Australia-born population (1.1%) and total population (1.2%).
  • Between 1996 and 2005, of the 50 most common countries of birth, persons born in Sudan had the largest average increase (28% per year), followed by persons born in Afghanistan (12%) and Iraq (10%). The largest declines in this group were persons born in Poland, Italy and Hungary (2% per year each).
  • Persons born in Sub-Saharan Africa recorded an average increase of 6% per year, the largest growth of all major regions between 1996 and 2005.
  • The two regions of North-West Europe and Southern and Eastern Europe together accounted for nearly half of overseas-born residents in Australia at 30 June 2005 (31% and 17% respectively).
  • At 30 June 2001, Western Australia had the highest proportion of overseas-born residents (29%) of all states and territories, while Tasmania had the lowest proportion (11%).