6250.0 - Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia, Nov 2019 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/06/2020   
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Quality Declaration

Institutional Environment

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey (CoRMS) provides a range of information on recent migrants and temporary residents (people who migrated to Australia as adults after 2009). The specific populations referenced in CoRMS are defined in the Explanatory Notes of this publication.

CoRMS provides data about the labour force status and other characteristics of recent migrants and temporary residents, including:

  • general demographic and employment characteristics of recent migrants and temporary residents,
  • the type of visa held by recent migrants and temporary residents on arrival in Australia,
  • education and employment before and after arriving in Australia,
  • any difficulties experienced finding work since migration and
  • proficiency in English.

As CoRMS is collected as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), persons excluded from the LFS were also excluded from this survey (see Explanatory Notes of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for standard LFS exclusions). Additional exclusions from this survey were people living in Indigenous communities and people in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, boarding schools, hospitals, retirements homes, homes for people with disabilities and prisons.

Information from CoRMS will be used by a wide range of public and private sector agencies, in particular the Department of Home Affairs.


The Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Migrants Survey was first conducted in 1984 and triennially there after up to 1999. It was collected again in 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019. The name of the survey was changed in 2007 to Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey, and again in 2010, to Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey to better reflect the scope of the survey. Data from the survey are released approximately six months after the completion of enumeration.

Note that the 2019 CoRMS was enumerated before the COVID-19 pandemic where migration and labour force activity in Australia were affected.


CoRMS is designed to provide reliable estimates at the national level and for each state and territory. The CoRMS sample includes 41,673 people who completed the monthly population survey, of whom 2,887 recent migrants and temporary residents also completed CoRMS. The Technical Note explains the measurement of error in CoRMS data.

Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error.

Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures.

Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. Sampling error can be estimated by measuring variability within a sample. In this publication sample error is reported using relative standard error and margin of error at the 95% confidence interval. For more information about error in CoRMS data see the Technical Note on data quality.


The ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to its surveys. However, sound survey practice requires ongoing development and maintenance to maintain the integrity of the data and the efficiency of collection.

The Explanatory Notes include advice for comparing estimates from CoRMS 2019 with previous iterations of the survey, including a list of changes that have been made to the survey and the data processing methods.

For a full list of changes made to the LFS, see the 'Labour force comparability over time' chapter of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Feb 2018 (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) and Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics, Aug 2015 (cat. no. 6292.0).

Data were compared to non-ABS sources of information that were available. Comparisons conducted by the ABS showed that the data from this survey are not directly comparable with other available sources due to differences in definitions, scope and collection methods.


Detailed information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with CoRMS can be found in the relevant web pages included with this release.


Tabulated data and associated measures of error are available in spreadsheet format and can be accessed from the Downloads section.

Data from this survey will also be accessible in the TableBuilder environment, enabling users to create their own customised output as required. For further details, refer to the Microdata Entry Page on the ABS website.

Data are also available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high RSEs which in some cases may result in data being confidentialised.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

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