Over half of permanent migrants are homeowners


Over half of permanent migrants aged 15 years and over (54 per cent) were buying or owned their own home, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

"With the release of the 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID), new information on household, family and dwelling characteristics of permanent migrants is now available," said Denise Carlton, Program Manager of Population Statistics at the ABS.

"This data allows for new insights into the household and family characteristics of permanent migrants in Australia which was previously not available, including home ownership levels."

Home ownership and rental levels differed by the visa stream of the permanent migrant.


Overall, 42 per cent of permanent migrants were renting in 2016. Migrants who entered the country through the Humanitarian stream were more likely to be living in rented accommodation (63 per cent) than migrants in the Skilled and Family streams (40 per cent).

Home ownership

Over half of Family and Skill stream migrants were buying (i.e. had a mortgage) or owned their own home (58 per cent and 57 per cent respectively), compared with almost one third (31 per cent) of Humanitarian migrants.

Migrants in the Family stream had the highest incidence of outright home ownership at 14 per cent, followed by Skill stream (8.0 per cent) and Humanitarian stream migrants (4.7 per cent).

More about the 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID)

The 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID) allows Census information to be cross-classified by migrants' entry conditions (e.g. visa status, location onshore or offshore and whether a main or secondary applicant), providing these valuable insights into settlement patterns of overseas born persons by visa stream as well as information on citizenship, housing, income, labour force characteristics, changing occupations, educational pathways and family characteristics. The ACMID significantly contributes to the pool of migrant data available in Australia to assist in policy formation and the development and evaluation of migrant programs and support services.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) informs Australia’s important decisions by partnering and innovating to maximise the value of public data. As an approved Integrating Authority the ABS is permitted to carry out data integration projects involving sensitive data such as the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID) Project. The ACMID consists of data from the 2016 Census linked to permanent migrant settlement data.

The ACMID Project was made possible through collaboration between the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Department of Social Services (DSS) and Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs), and was conducted under strict privacy and confidentiality controls, protected by law (i.e. the Census and Statistics Act 1905, and the Privacy Act 1988). For more information see the Privacy, Confidentiality and Security Census page.

Further details are available in Understanding Migrant Outcomes - Insights from the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset, Australia 2016 (cat. no. 3417.0) available for free download from the ABS website http://www.abs.gov.au.

Media notes

  • Permanent migrants are defined as a person who was born overseas, was not an Australian citizen or New Zealand citizen on arrival, does not currently hold New Zealand citizenship, and has permanent Australian resident status.
  • Permanent migrants refer to permanent migrants whose arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa was between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (Census night).
  • Skilled migrants are defined as persons who have arrived in Australia on a Skill stream visa. The Skill stream consists of a number of categories for prospective migrants where there is demand in Australia for their particular skills. They could be nominated by an employer or State/Territory Government, apply under points based Skilled Migration, have outstanding talents or demonstrated business skills.
  • Family migrants are defined as persons who have arrived in Australia on a Child, Partner, Parent or Other Family stream visa. These migrants are selected on the basis of their family relationship (spouse, de facto partner, intent to marry, child, parent, other family) with their sponsor who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand Citizen.
  • Humanitarian migrants are defined as permanent entrants under the Offshore Humanitarian Program, as well as those who were granted permanent protection post-arrival in Australia.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on 1300 175 070 or media@abs.gov.au (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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