3418.0 - Personal Income of Migrants, Australia, Experimental, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/12/2015   
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This release presents detailed information on the sources of personal income that migrants received in the 2010-11 financial year including;

  • Employee income
  • Own unincorporated business income
  • Investment income
  • Other income; and
  • Foreign income.

Migrants' personal income is presented by characteristics such as the migrant's entry conditions to Australia (i.e. visa stream, applicant status and location of visa application) as well as country of birth, year of arrival and length of stay. This is the second release of data from the Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID) feasibility project. The first release presented data for the 2009-10 financial year (3418.0). These statistics relate to migrants aged 15 years and over, with a permanent or provisional visa who arrived after 1 January 2000.

This release highlights several themes emerging from the 2010-11 PITMID data to enable better understanding of variations in income, across and within the Skilled, Family and Humanitarian visa streams. For the first time, data on the personal income of migrant taxpayers with a Provisional visa (on a pathway to permanent residency) has been presented. In addition, a case study on migrant taxpayers born in China* and those migrant taxpayers who held more than one job in 2010-11 have been included. Data is also presented for changes in income from 2009-10 to 2010-11. Whilst there has been an increase from 2009-10 to 2010-11 in the number of migrant taxpayers submitting an income tax return and in the amount of income reported, the proportions of migrants in each of the visa streams and the proportions of income attributed to them has remained relatively stable.

The 2010-11 PITMID has been developed with the support of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and the Department of Social Services (DSS). This initiative demonstrates the power of data sharing and integration in strengthening the evidence base to support stronger policy development, programme delivery and research.


These statistics have been compiled by linking individual taxpayer unit record data from the ATO and migrant settlement records from the DSS Settlement Database (SDB). Legislative requirements to ensure privacy and secrecy of this data have been adhered to. In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, results have been confidentialised to ensure that they are not likely to enable identification of a particular person or organisation. Both the ATO and the ABS handle personal information contained in the data in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988.

The results of these studies are based, in part, on tax data supplied by the ATO to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) under the Taxation Administration Act 1953, which requires that such data is only used for the purpose of administering the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and is not related to the ability of the data to support the ATO's core operational requirements.

Data provided to the ABS by the ATO are from taxation returns processed up to 16 months after the end of the financial year (i.e. returns processed up to 31 October 2012 for the financial year ending 30 June 2011).

When interpreting these results, it should be noted that for the purposes of providing statistical measures for the entire population, the ATO database has some limits to its coverage. Persons who receive an income below the tax-free threshold ($6,000 in 2010-11) are not necessarily required to lodge a tax return and this can include people who derive their income from government pensions and allowances. In addition, some Australian Government pension, benefit and allowance payments are exempt from income tax and therefore recipients are not required to include this income in their taxation returns. Consequently, the coverage of all low income earners is incomplete and Government pensions and allowances are excluded from the data presented in this publication. Sources and methods for including more complete Government pensions and allowances information from other administrative DSS datasets are being considered for future iterations of this project.

Changes in income from 2009-10 to 2010-11 are presented in 'real terms' i.e. in 2010-11 dollars, adjusted using changes in the Consumer Price Index.

It is also important to note that most references to the migrant population in this publication refer to migrant taxpayers, not the entire population of permanent migrants in Australia. Tables and graphs include data for only those migrants who had submitted a tax return.

2010-11 PITMID data on the personal income of migrants are unique and differ from the ATO statistics produced for the total Australian taxpayer population as well as the aggregate PIT data presented in Wage and Salary Earner Statistics for Small Areas (cat. no. 5673.0.55.003) and the Estimates of Personal Income for Small Areas (cat. no. 6524.0.55.002) (see Explanatory Notes). When presenting statistics on income created from unit record data such as 2010-11 PITMID, the ABS uses averages based on medians which measure the midpoint of the data (as income data is usually skewed). While the majority of this release displays medians, comparison with data from the 2010-11 PITMID to the aggregate PIT data in the two releases mentioned above, necessitates the use of averages in Tables 14, 15 and 16 of the 2010-11 PITMID Data Cube included in this release. Average income for a population or subpopulation is calculated by dividing the total income for that population by the total number of persons in that population.

This release is also accompanied by a Glossary, Explanatory Notes and detailed Data Item List.