Percentage of Aussies born overseas hits record high 29%

By Leith van Onselen

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last week released annual migration data, which showed that the percentage of Australians born overseas hit an all-time high 29.0% in 2016-17:

The cultural and linguistic diversity of Australia’s resident population has been reshaped over many years by migration. Historically, more people immigrate to, than emigrate from, Australia. At 30 June 2017, 29.0% of the estimated resident population (ERP) was born overseas (7.1 million persons). This was an increase from 30 June 2016, when 28.6% of the population was born overseas (6.9 million persons). In 2007, ten years earlier, 25.1% of the population was born overseas (5.2 million persons).

Persons born in England continued to be the largest group of overseas-born residents, accounting for 4.1% of Australia’s total population at 30 June 2017. This was followed by persons born in China (2.5%), New Zealand (2.3%), India (2.2%), the Philippines (1.1%) and Vietnam (1.0%).

Over the last 10 years, the proportion of the Australian population who were born in England decreased from 4.6% in 2007 to 4.1% in 2017. Conversely, the proportions increased for people born in China (from 1.3% to 2.5%), New Zealand (from 2.2% to 2.3%), and India (from 1.0% to 2.2%)…

Three-quarters of net overseas migration came to NSW and Victoria in 2016-17, primarily to Sydney and Melbourne:

The majority of migrants arrived on temporary visas in 2016-17:

However, as we know, most permanent migrants arrive in Australia first on temporary visas before later transitioning to permanent residency. Therefore, it is the permanent migrant intake that prevents migrants from leaving, thereby adding to Australia’s population base overtime (including when migrants have children, which is then counted as ‘natural increase’):

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