Asia now the leading source of permanent migrants to Australia

immi2011-12New report reaffirms the ‘Asian Century’.

According to Australia’s Migration Trends, a new report released today by the Minister for Immigration & Citizenship, Brendan O’Connor, Asia has become the  leading supplier of permanent skilled migrants to Australia


The report contains comprehensive analysis and commentary on migration activity for 2011-12, and provides a clear picture of substantial changes in the origins of Australia’s migrants, reflecting the trend towards an Asian Century.

For the first time, India and China were the two main source countries of permanent migrants.

‘Seven of the top 10 source countries in 2011-12 were located in the Asia region,’ Mr O’Connor said.

The substantial growth in overseas born residents is changing Australia’s ethnic composition.

In the past 15 years the number of China born Australian residents has more than tripled.

birthplaceThis growth rate was surpassed by the number of India born residents which increased fourfold over this same period.

Between 1996 and 2011, Australia’s overseas-born population grew by more than 40 per cent to reach six million. This was more than double the rate for the Australian-born population and is essential in addressing the demographic challenges of an ageing population,’ Mr O’Connor said.

‘With the government’s strong emphasis on skilled migration, this sort of growth is also crucial to ensuring depth in Australia’s labour force.

Mr O’Connor said patterns of migration are also changing.

‘In 2011-12, half of Australia’s skilled migrants applied while they were already living in Australia on a temporary visa. This was more than twice the rate of a decade earlier and reflects a growing trend of migrants seeing what Australia has to offer before making a commitment to settle permanently,’ Mr O’Connor said.

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