Half of all temporary migrants call Sydney and Melbourne home


New Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) analysis shows that in 2016 half of the 1.5 million temporary residents in Australia were living in Sydney (27 per cent) and Melbourne (24 per cent) with a further 14 per cent calling Brisbane home.

ABS Director of Migration Statistics, Myles Burleigh, said for the first time detailed social and economic characteristics of temporary residents in Australia have been made available through the 2016 Australian Census and Temporary Entrants Integrated Dataset (ACTEID).

“By combining 2016 Census data and temporary visa information from the Department of Home Affairs, we now have a comprehensive picture of where groups of temporary residents live, the countries they come from, what work they do, what they earn and if they are studying,” he said.

“For example, what we see in this new data is that in 2016, 81 per cent of temporary residents lived in capital cities, compared with 67 per cent of all Australians. Outside capital cities, the most popular areas were regional Queensland with 10 per cent and regional New South Wales with 4 per cent.

“New Zealand citizens on subclass 444 Special Category visas were the largest group of temporary residents in Australia. They were most likely to live in Brisbane (20 per cent), followed by Melbourne and Sydney (both 18 per cent). Three-quarters (76 per cent) were in the labour force.”

Students were the second largest group of temporary residents (30 per cent) and were most likely to have been born in China (27 per cent) and India (13 per cent). Most lived in Sydney (34 per cent) or Melbourne (31 per cent). The majority of students (68 per cent) studied at universities or other tertiary institutions.

Temporary residents holding skilled work visas were the third largest group with 86 per cent of those aged 15 years and over in the labour force. This group of temporary residents had the highest median weekly personal income at $1,143 per week. They were most likely to have been born in India (20 per cent) and England (12 per cent).

In comparison, 84 per cent of working holiday makers aged 15 years and over were in the labour force. They had a median weekly personal income of $648 per week and were predominantly born in South Korea (17 per cent), Taiwan (16 per cent) and England (14 per cent).

Further details are available in Insights from the Australian Census and Temporary Entrants Integrated Dataset, Australia 2016 (cat. no. 3419.0) available for free download from the ABS website http://www.abs.gov.au.

More about the release:

  • A temporary entrant is a person who is not an Australian citizen on arrival and has been granted permission or authority to enter Australia temporarily.
  • A temporary resident is a temporary entrant who has stayed, or intends to stay, in Australia for 12 months or more.
  • Visitor visa holders are not included in the ACTEID i.e. non-permanent entrants to Australia whose visa is for tourism, short stay business or visiting relatives.
  • The ACTEID Project was made possible through collaboration between the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs) and Department of Social Services (DSS), and was conducted under strict privacy and confidentiality controls. No information that would allow an individual to be identified is released outside the ABS. For more information see the Privacy, Confidentiality and Security Census page.

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