3413.0 - Migrant Statistics News, Oct 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/10/2011   
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Welcome to the October 2011 edition of the Migrant Statistics News brought to you from the National Migrant Statistics Unit (NMSU).

As anticipated earlier in the year, 2011 has proven to be a very busy year for the NMSU as we continue to ensure that the necessary migrant related data to inform public and policy debate are readily available, timely and of the highest possible quality.

In particular, I am pleased to advise that the fourth edition of the Migrant Data Matrices (cat. no 3415.0) is due to be released next month. The matrices are intended to serve as a 'one stop shop' providing migrant and ethnicity related data from a range of ABS collections on a broad selection of topics. The fourth release, scheduled for 29 November 2011, will bring to you migrant data from a number of recently released collections such as the 2010 General Social Survey; 2009–10 Family Characteristics Survey; and the 2009–10 Household Expenditure Survey.

The 2011 Census of Population and Housing will not have escaped anyone's attention with collectors being extremely busy during the month of August. Around 30% of Australians took the opportunity to submit their Census form on-line. The ABS is now into the processing phase with first release analytical output results due out in June 2012. From an NMSU perspective we have commenced work on the 2011 version of the Census Data Enhancement project that will use data from the 2011 Census and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's (DIAC's) Settlement Database.

A paper, Assessing the Quality of Linking Migrant Settlement Records to Census Data (cat. no. 1351.0.55.027), presented the results of the 2006 Migrants Quality Study which assessed the feasibility of linking the DIAC's Settlement Database to the Statistical Longitudinal Census Dataset (a 5% de-identified sample of records), without the use of name and address as linking variables. Two articles were released in the June 2010 issue of Perspectives on Migrants (cat. no. 3416.0) which utilised this information and presented experimental estimates relating to Humanitarian Program migrants and the economic outcomes of Skilled Program migrants. The study indicated that linking is feasible and can produce useful information that no other data source currently provides. This project offers great potential to better understand the settlement outcomes of permanent arrivals to Australia. We have worked on some of the quality issues that were identified and now start in earnest on the 2011 version of the project. In order to focus on the 2011 project we are archiving the 2006 experimental estimates.

Following on from the release of the Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia (cat. no. 6250.0) publication and associated data cubes in early June 2011, the Technical Manual and Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) were released in September 2011. The Characteristics of Recent Migrants survey presents data on migration category (or main visa group), country of birth, proficiency in spoken English, educational attainment on arrival and since arrival, employment prior to arrival and since arrival, and sources of household income. We anticipate releasing a 'Perspectives on Migrants' article that will focus on this data in the near future.

Users of ABS Migrant & Ethnicity statistics will have noticed that the ABS' Topics @ a Glance page on the Website for this subject now has a new look. The format has changed so that, hopefully, it will be easier for you to locate information. We would appreciate your feedback and any suggestions that you might have.

The ABS is currently in the development phase for the next version of Measures of Australia's Progress (cat. no. 1370.0.55.001) or MAP 2.0. As an independent agency, the ABS must assess issues from a non-political viewpoint, taking into account the views of the community. The ABS is hoping to help articulate and gather the progress goals from the public, so that it can developing a new framework for MAP that will better measure Australia's progress. You can provide feedback by contributing to the blog on the ABS website, providing a written submission or contacting an ABS Office. MAP includes measures relating to the overseas born so I urge you to have a look.

As always, I hope you find this newsletter both informative and interesting. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions about the work of the National Migrant Statistics Unit please feel free to contact us.

All the best

Andrew Middleton
Culture, Recreation and Migrant Statistics