Migrants' total income exceeds $112 billion in 2016-17


Australia’s 1.9 million migrant taxpayers generated $112.3 billion in total personal income in 2016-17 according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

ABS Migration and Small Population Insights Director, Jenny Dobak said most of this migrant income ($102 billion, or 91 per cent) was earned by employees.

"With new data for 2016-17 now available, we have a better understanding of the personal income earned by migrants," she said.

“For example the data shows the median employee income of all migrant taxpayers in 2016-17 was $49,438, which was slightly higher than the median employee income for all Australian taxpayers ($49,412)”.

Skilled migrant taxpayers

The 2016-17 data shows that 61 per cent of migrant taxpayers held a skilled visa and they reported $81 billion in total personal income, an increase of 5.8 per cent in real terms on 2015-16.

“We also know that migrants from the skill stream had the highest median employee income of migrant taxpayers ($59,304)” said Ms Dobak.

Family migrant taxpayers

Migrant taxpayers with family visas reported $25 billion in total income, and were most commonly born in the United Kingdom (13 per cent) and China (12 per cent).

Humanitarian migrant taxpayers

The data also showed that migrants with humanitarian visas reported $3.4 billion in total income and had a median employee income of $32,792, below the Australian taxpayer median employee income ($49,412).

However, humanitarian migrant taxpayers had the highest median own unincorporated business income of migrant taxpayers ($16,852).

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

Media notes

  • This release presents personal income information reported by migrant taxpayers in 2016-17 including employee income, own unincorporated business income, investment income and other income. It is limited to permanent migrants aged 15 years and over who have arrived in Australia between 1 January 2000 and 30 June 2019.
  • Changes in median income are presented in real terms (2016-17 dollars) reflecting changes in the Consumer Price Index and the 2012-13 change in the tax free threshold from $6,000 to $18,200.
  • 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.
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