6250.0.25.002 - Microdata: Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia, November 2016 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/06/2017   
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The Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey (CoRMS) is conducted trienially in November throughout Australia as part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) household survey program. For information on the institutional environment of the ABS, including its legislative obligations, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.

TableBuilder files are released in accordance with the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (CSA). This ensures that confidentiality is maintained whilst enabling micro level data to be released. More information on the confidentiality practices associated with TableBuilder can be found at the Survey Confidentiality Page.


The Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey (CORMS) provides a range of information on recent migrants and temporary residents.
Where a recent migrant is defined as a person who;

  • was born overseas,
  • who first arrived to live in Australia (for one year or more) after 2006,
  • was aged 15 years or over on arrival,
  • was not an Australian citizen or New Zealand citizen on arrival,
  • does not currently hold New Zealand citizenship, and
  • has permanent Australian resident status.

A temporary resident is defined as a person who:
  • was born overseas,
  • who first arrived to live in Australia (for one year or more) after 2006,
  • was aged 15 years or over on arrival,
  • was not an Australian citizen or New Zealand citizen on arrival,
  • does not currently hold New Zealand citizenship, and
  • has a temporary visa.

The type of information collected included socio-demographic characteristics (such as age, sex and birthplace), employment characteristics (such as labour force status, occupation and industry), educational qualifications obtained (such as level and field, both before coming to Australia to live and since arriving in Australia) and migration information (such as visa category and residency status on arrival to live in Australia and as at November, 2016). In addition, the survey collects information regarding language spoken on arrival in Australia and proficiency in English both on arrival in Australia and as at November 2016.

As CORMS is collected as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), persons excluded from the LFS were also excluded from this survey (see Explanatory Notes of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for standard LFS exclusions). Additional exclusions from this survey were people living in Indigenous communities in Australia and people in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, boarding schools, hospitals, retirements homes, homes for people with disabilities and prisons.

Information from CORMS will be used by a wide range of public and private sector agencies, in particular the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.


The Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Migrants Survey was first conducted in 1984 and triennially there after up to 1999. It was collected again in 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and the latest survey was in 2016. The name of the survey was changed in 2007 to Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey, and again in 2010, to Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey to better reflect the scope of the survey. Data from the survey are released approximately six months after the completion of enumeration.

This is the third iteration of the Characteristics of Recent Migrants TableBuilder, the first was published based on the 2010 data and was released in May 2012.


The microdata generally contains finer levels of detail for data items than what is otherwise published in other formats, for example, in Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia (cat. no. 6250.0). For information on the level of detail provided, please refer to the data item list in the Downloads tab.

Steps to confidentialise the data made available in TableBuilder are taken in such a way as to maximise the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents selected in the survey. As a result it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all the statistics produced from TableBuilder with other published statistics. Further information about the steps taken to confidentialise the microdata is available through the Survey Confidentiality Page.


The ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to its surveys. However, sound survey practice requires ongoing development and maintenance to maintain the integrity of the data and the efficiency of collection.

After each Census, population estimates are normally revised back five years to the previous Census year. As announced in the June 2012 issue of Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0), intercensal error between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses was larger than normal due to improved methodologies used in the 2011 Census Post Enumeration Survey. The intercensal error analysis indicated that previous population estimates for the base Census years were over-counted. An indicative estimate of the size of the over-count is that there should have been 240,000 fewer people at June 2006, 130,000 fewer in 2001 and 70,000 fewer in 1996. As a result, Estimated Resident Population (ERP) estimates have been revised for the last 20 years rather than the usual five.

Consequently, estimates of particular populations derived since CORMS 2013 may be lower than those published for previous years as the CORMS estimates have not been revised. In addition, the weighting methodology used in 2016 was modified to include ERP Migration statistics as part of the benchmark process. Therefore, caution should we used when comparing CORMS 2016 estimates with previous years.

For changes between iterations of CORMS, please refer to the Explanatory Notes. For a full list of changes made to the LFS, see Chapter 20 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2013 (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) and Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics, Aug 2015 (cat. no. 6292.0).

Data were compared to non-ABS sources of information that were available. Comparisons conducted by the ABS showed that the data from this survey are not directly comparable with other available sources due to differences in definitions, scope and collection methods.


Detailed information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with the CoRMS can be found in the relevant web pages included with this release.


Microdata products are available to approved users. Access can be applied for through the Registration page. Users should also familiarise themselves with information available via the Microdata Entry Page.

A full list of all available microdata can be viewed via the List of expected and available Microdata.

Any queries regarding access to microdata can be forwarded to microdata.access@abs.gov.au or phone (02) 6252 7714.

The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS handles any personal information that you provide to us.