Australian Bureau Of Statistics
Australia’s Dynamic Population
Victor P Taffa
Summary of migration in Australia released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has highlighted just how much our population moves.
In 2016-17, 377,000 people moved interstate, 276,000 moved overseas, and 539,000 people arrived as migrants.
Director of Migration Statistics at the ABS Myles Burleigh said that the number of people moving interstate was the highest in 13 years, and the number of arrivals of overseas migrants was the highest on record.
“However, factoring in departures, in net terms overseas migration was 262,000, which is below the record high of 300,000 in 2008-09.” Mr. Burleigh said.
Of the 539,000 people who migrated to Australia in 2016-17, 315,000 arrived on a temporary visa, including just over 150,000 international students, just over 50,000 working holiday makers, and 32,000 workers on temporary skill visas.
There were 106,000 migrants that arrived on permanent visas including 45,800 on skill visas, 29,800 on family visas and 23,900 on humanitarian visas.
Mr. Burleigh said that New South Wales had the largest population increase from net overseas migration of any state or territory, with an addition of 104,000 people.
“However, New South Wales also had the largest net loss through interstate migration, with a net loss to other states of 15,200 people.” Mr. Burleigh said.
“Western Australia experienced its highest net loss to other states on record, with a net loss of 14,000 people.”
Mr. Burleigh also said that Victoria had the largest gain in population from interstate migration of any state or territory, just ahead of Queensland.
“In 2016-17, 86,700 people moved from another state or territory to Victoria and 68,500 people from Victoria moved interstate. This produced a net gain of 18,200 people, Victoria’s highest ever figure.”
“Queensland was just behind, with a net gain of 17,800 people.” Mr. Burleigh said.
Net Overseas Migration – 2016-17 (a)
State or Territory no. %
New South Wales 104,478 39.8%
Victoria 90,009 34.3%
Queensland 35,199 13.4%
South Australia 11,668 4.4%
Western Australia 13,384 5.1%
Tasmania 2,029 0.8%
Northern Territory 1,748 0.7%
Australian Capital Territory 3,964 1.5%
Australia (b) 262,489 100.0%
(a) Estimates are preliminary
(b) Includes Other Territories
Visa information reported above is based on the visa type held at the time of a traveller’s arrival in Australia. Persons may move between different types of temporary visas or be issued a permanent visa following their initial arrival in Australia.
Consistent with international definitions, a person is regarded by the ABS as a migrant to Australia if they have been, or are expected to be, resident in Australia for 12 months or more, regardless of their citizenship, type of visa, or legal status.
This 12 month period need not be continuous and is measured over a 16 month period. Aside from foreign diplomatic personnel and their dependents, all persons (including those on temporary visas) are counted in Australia’s population as long as they are physically in Australia for a cumulative 12 months out of 16.
These statistics therefore differ from information on the numbers of visas granted by the Department of Home Affairs.
Overseas migration data from the March quarter 2017 onwards is preliminary and is subject to revision.