Migrants' total income $84 billion in 2013-14


Migrant taxpayers generated $84 billion in total personal income in 2013-14, an increase in real terms of 7 per cent on 2012-13, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

"With five years of data now available, this type of information allows us to get a much better understanding of the personal income earned by migrants each year," said Chris Heywood-Smith from the ABS National Migrants Statistics Unit. "For example, since 2010-11, the median total income for permanent migrants has increased by 4.9 per cent, compared to 4.5 per cent for the whole Australian taxpayer population."

Most of this income ($76 billion, or 90 per cent) was earned as an employee, representing a 6 per cent increase in real terms from the prior year. The median employee income of all migrant taxpayers in 2013-14 was $48,400, which was higher than the median employee income for all Australian taxpayers ($45,700).

Skill stream migrants had the highest median employee income at $55,400, followed by those with an other permanent visa ($45,700) and those from the family visa stream ($39,500).

"Overall business income for the majority of the visa streams has been increasing over time, with other permanent visa and humanitarian visa holders continuing to have the highest median business income," Ms Heywood-Smith said.

In 2013-14, humanitarian migrants continued to have a high median business income ($15,700), increasing by 12 per cent on 2012-13.

A case study on migrant taxpayers with a family visa showed:

  • Migrant taxpayers from the family stream generated $19 billion in total income, an increase of 7 per cent on the previous year;
  • More than one-third were born in the United Kingdom (UK), China (excluding SARs and Taiwan) and India; and
  • Men recorded $213 million in total other income, almost double the amount reported by women ($123 million).

A case study on migrant taxpayers with a humanitarian visa showed:

  • Whilst they only represent 5 per cent of all migrant taxpayers, they reported almost $2.5 billion in total income, an increase of 13 per cent in real terms on 2012-13;
  • The largest proportion of humanitarian migrant taxpayers were born in Sudan (16%) and they recorded $370 million in total income; and
  • Median total employee income of humanitarian migrants was $34,000, well below the Australian taxpayer median employee income ($45,700).

A case study on migrant taxpayers born in Sri Lanka showed:

  • Sri Lankan-born taxpayers generated $1.9 billion in total income, mostly employee income ($1.8 billion);
  • In 2013-14, more than 35 per cent were male primary applicants aged 25 to 44 years of age; and
  • Almost all Sri Lankan born humanitarian migrants reported employee income (93 per cent), compared with 79 per cent for humanitarian migrants from other countries.

Further information can be found in Personal Income of Migrants, Australia, 2013-14 (cat. no. 3418.0), available for free download from http://www.abs.gov.au.

    Media notes

    • This release presents detailed information on the sources of personal income that migrants received for the 2013-14 financial year, including employee income, own unincorporated business income, investment income, other income and foreign income.
    • Data presented are limited to permanent migrants aged 15 years and over who have arrived in Australia between 1 January 2000 and 6 September 2016.
    • In 2012-13, the Tax Free Threshold increased from $6,000 to $18,200. This may have an impact on median incomes reported from 2012-13 onwards.
    • Other income (excluding Government pensions and allowances) includes transfer or trust income; foreign investment fund and/or foreign life insurance assurance policy income (in 2009-10 only); controlled foreign company income; foreign salary/pension income; other net foreign source income; and other (including superannuation and annuity income). Data for superannuation and annuities are understated. See Explanatory Notes for more information.
    • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
    • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications and Partnerships Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
    • Subscribe to our email notification service and get media releases or products sent to you on release.
    Back to top of the page