3412.0 - Migration, Australia, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
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NET OVERSEAS MIGRATION

KEY STATISTICS

Overseas migration to and from Australia in 2018, resulted in a net increase to Australia's population of 237,200 people:

    • There were 526,300 migrant arrivals which was an annual decrease for the first time since 2014
    • There were 289,000 migrant departures which is the highest number on record
    • 327,300 of the migrant arrivals were on temporary visas and 87,900 were on permanent visas.


About this data

Net overseas migration is the net gain or loss of population through immigration (migrant arrivals) to Australia and emigration (migrant departures) from Australia. The data presented here are annual, for years ending 30 June. For quarterly migration estimates see Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0).


Net Overseas Migration — Australia

While exhibiting a pattern of variability over time, net overseas migration has remained above 180,000 people since 2006. After two consecutive years of increases, in 2018 there was a decrease as shown in Graph 3.1.

In the year ending 30 June 2018 there was:
    • a net gain from overseas migration of 237,200 people. This was 10% fewer than in 2017 (26,100 people)
    • the second largest decrease in net overseas migration since 2010.

The decrease in net migration for 2018 was comprised of a decrease in migrant arrivals and an increase in migrant departures.

There were:
    • 526,300 migrant arrivals, which was 13,900 fewer than during 2017 and a fall for the first time since 2014.
    • 289,000 migrant departures, which was 12,200 more than during 2017.

Graph 3.1 Net Overseas Migration(a) — Australia — 1972-73 to 2017-18

(a) Estimates from December quarter 2017 onwards are preliminary - see paragraph 9 of the Explanatory Notes
Source: Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001); Migration, Australia (cat. no. 3412.0)


Net Overseas Migration — States and Territories

The three largest states, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, continued to account for the largest contributions to net overseas migration nationally in the year ending 30 June 2018. Australia's 10% decrease in migration during the year was also experienced by the three largest states and the Northern Territory.

The net overseas migration estimates and change from one year earlier for each state and territory were:
    • New South Wales 89,800 people (with a decrease of -15,700)
    • Victoria 85,100 (decrease of -6,200)
    • Queensland 28,700 (decrease of -5,400)
    • South Australia 12,700 (increase of 500)
    • Western Australia 12,800 (increase of 800)
    • Tasmania 2,600 (increase of 200)
    • Northern Territory 800 (decrease of -1,000)
    • Australian Capital Territory 4,800 (increase of 600).

When comparing migrant arrivals and migrant departures in 2017-18 to 2016-17:
    • Victoria recorded the largest increase in migrant arrivals of 1,100 people
    • New South Wales recorded the largest decrease in migrant arrivals of -8,600 people
    • Victoria recorded the largest increase in migrant departures of 7,300 people
    • Western Australia recorded the largest decrease in migrant departures of -4,600 people.

Table 3.2 Net Overseas Migration - State & territory - Year to 30 June 2018(a)

Migrant arrivals
Migrant departures
Net Overseas Migration
State or territory
no.
%
no.
%
no.
%

NSW
189 695
36.0
99 882
34.6
89 813
37.9
Vic.
160 704
30.5
75 651
26.2
85 053
35.9
Qld
85 792
16.3
57 125
19.8
28 667
12.1
SA
24 253
4.6
11 578
4.0
12 675
5.3
WA
44 899
8.5
32 088
11.1
12 810
5.4
Tas.
4 985
0.9
2 406
0.8
2 579
1.1
NT
4 975
0.9
4 129
1.4
846
0.4
ACT
10 920
2.1
6 125
2.1
4 795
2.0
Australia(b)
526 271
100.0
289 047
100.0
237 224
100.0

(a) Estimates from December quarter 2017 onwards are preliminary - see paragraph 9 of the Explanatory Notes.
(b) Includes Other Territories.


Net Overseas Migration by Visa Groupings and Australian Citizens

Temporary visa holders were the majority of migrant arrivals (62%) and migrant departures (49%) in the year ending 30 June 2018.
    • There were 327,300 migrant arrivals on temporary visas including nearly 159,000 international students (30% of all migrant arrivals)
    • Arrivals on temporary work skilled visas decreased from a year ago by 19% to 26,600 people
    • Migrant departures on temporary visas increased by 8% to 141,400 people.

For permanent visa holders in 2018, migrant arrivals declined while migrant departures increased from one year earlier.
    • 17% of all migrant arrivals were permanent visa holders
    • Permanent visa holders arriving decreased from a year ago to 87,900 people (down 17%)
    • Permanent visa holders departing increased from a year ago to 21,200 people (up 3%)
    • 7% of all migrant departures were permanent visa holders.

For Australian and New Zealand citizens (who do not require a visa for migration to Australia), in the year ending 30 June 2018:
    • 30,400 New Zealand citizens moved to Australia to live, however in the same year, 23,400 left Australia to live overseas
    • 76,500 Australian citizens returned to Australia after living overseas but in the same year 90,600 decided to move overseas to live.

Table 3.3 Net Overseas Migration by major groupings and visa(a) - Australia - Year to 30 June 2018(b)

Migrant arrivals
Migrant departures
Major groupings and visa
no.
%
no.
%

Temporary visas
Vocational education and training sector
18 711
3.6
14 650
5.1
Higher education sector
106 228
20.2
31 134
10.8
Student other
33 829
6.4
8 849
3.1
Temporary work skilled (subclass 457)
26 612
5.1
15 095
5.2
Visitor(c)
78 699
15.0
20 564
7.1
Working holiday
49 703
9.4
22 353
7.7
Other temporary visas
13 556
2.6
28 714
9.9
Total temporary visas
327 337
62.2
141 359
48.9
Permanent Visas
Family
26 438
5.0
5 753
2.0
Skill
43 115
8.2
8 041
2.8
Special eligibility and humanitarian
12 104
2.3
151
0.1
Other permanent visas
6 194
1.2
7 223
2.5
Total permanent visas
87 850
16.7
21 168
7.3
New Zealand citizen (subclass 444)
30 355
5.8
23 397
8.1
Australian citizen (no visa)
76 503
14.5
90 615
31.3
Other(d)
4 227
0.8
12 508
4.3
Total
526 271
100.0
289 047
100.0

(a) Represents the number of visas based on the visa type at the time of a traveller's specific movement. It is this specific movement that has been used to calculate net overseas migration. Therefore the number of visas in this table should not be confused with information on the number of visas granted by Home Affairs.
(b) Estimates from December quarter 2017 onwards are preliminary - see paragraph 9 of the Explanatory Notes.
(c) Visitor visas include tourists, business visitors, medical treatment and other.
(d) Includes residents returning (i.e. non Australian citizens who have a permanent resident visa) and visa unknown.


Net Overseas Migration by Country of Birth and Age

In the year ending 30 June 2018, people aged 20 to 24 years made up the largest proportion of migrant arrivals, while those aged 25 to 29 made up the largest proportion of migrant departures. The proportion of overseas-born migrants is much higher than Australian-born migrants for both arrivals and departures for almost all age groups. This is mainly due to the ebb and flow of temporary migration into and out of the country. The exception to this is migrant departures for the 0 to 4 year old age group, where almost four fifths were Australian born.
    • The 20 to 24 age group had the highest proportion of migrant arrivals with 21% of all migrant arrivals. Of this age group 95% were born overseas.
    • The 25 to 29 age group had the highest proportion of migrant departures with 20% of all migrant departures. Of this age group 83% were born overseas.

Graph 3.4 Migrant arrivals and departures — Australia, Country of birth(a) by age — year to 30 June 2018(b)

(a) Australian-born and overseas-born persons as a proportion of Australia's total annual migration for the year to 30 June 2018.
(b) Estimates from December quarter 2017 onwards are preliminary - see paragraph 9 of the Explanatory Notes.


Migrant Arrivals by Region of Birth

The regions of the world where Australia's incoming migrants are born can change considerably over time. The five years to 30 June 2018 has seen such changes, with a shift away from Europe and Oceania towards the regions of Asia and to some degree the Americas. Oceania, previously the highest birthplace for migrant arrivals in 2013, has been surpassed by North-east Asia in 2018. Migrant arrivals from South and Central Asia are now higher than Oceania, North-west Europe and South-East Asia.

Graph 3.5 Migrant Arrivals — Australia — Region of Birth — year to 30 June 2013 and 2018(a)

(a) Estimates from December quarter 2017 onwards are preliminary - see paragraph 9 of the Explanatory Notes.