6250.0 - Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia, Nov 2010 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2011   
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The main purpose of this supplementary survey was to collect information on persons who were born overseas, arrived in Australia after 2000, were aged 15 years and over on arrival, who had obtained permanent Australian resident status, as well as people who were temporary residents of Australia for 12 months or more. Persons holding New Zealand citizenship and those who held Australian citizenship prior to their arrival in Australia were excluded, while other persons born in New Zealand were included. 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 2010). New data items collected in 2010 included whether would have preferred to work longer hours in first job in Australia, main reason not actively looking for work and main language spoken on arrival.


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 and the latest survey was in 2010. 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.


The number of completed interviews (after taking into account scope and coverage exclusions) for the Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey was 47,099, of which 2,650 were recent migrants. This sample was achieved by obtaining a response rate of 96% from about 23,500 selected private dwellings. In 2010, the survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded people living in Indigenous communities in very remote parts of Australia. Previous cycles of the survey have excluded all persons living in very remote areas.

Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error.

Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error also arises because information cannot be obtained from all persons selected in the survey.

Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error. There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors.


The ABS has previously conducted a survey of recent migrants in 1984, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2007. While the ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey; sound survey practice requires ongoing development to maintain the integrity of the data. There were a number of changes to the survey between 2004 and 2007. In 2004 migrants who had arrived in the previous 20 years were included in the survey. From 2007 only migrants who had arrived in the previous 10 years were included. There were also new and reworded questions in the 2007 survey, with only minor development occurring for the 2010 survey. This means results from the surveys conducted in 2004 and earlier are not comparable with the 2007 and 2010 surveys. However the 2007 and 2010 survey results are comparable. For a more detailed discussion on the differences between surveys see the Explanatory Notes.

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


The Characteristics of Recent Migrants publication contains detailed Explanatory Notes, Technical Notes and a Glossary that provide information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.


In addition to the PDF publication, the tables and associated RSEs are available in spreadsheet form on the website.

Data are also available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors and, in some cases may result in data being confidentialised.

An expanded confidentialised unit record file will be produced for this survey and is expected to be released in September 2011.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Centre on 1300 135 070.