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Overseas arrivals


This topic has been updated with 2016 Census data for all areas. What's this?

6,163,662 people who were living in Australia in 2016 were born overseas, and 21% arrived in Australia within 5 years prior to 2016.

The Year of Arrival data records when the overseas born population arrived in Australia. The data shows the degree to which areas are 'ports' for new overseas arrivals and reveals the role of Australia in housing the overseas-born. The number of recent overseas arrivals in an area is often determined by housing affordability, employment opportunities and pre-existing communities located in the area.

Australia's Year of Arrival data, when used with Birthplace, Religion and Language Spoken at Home data, is a good indicator of the likely need for services in migrant communities.

Derived from the Census question:

'In what year did the person first arrive in Australia to live here for one year or more?'

Overseas born population

Overseas arrivals
Australia - Overseas born (Usual residence)2016
Year of arrival in AustraliaNumber%Greater Capital Cities %
2011 to 9 Aug 20161,324,43521.522.4
2006 to 2010985,33416.016.4
2001 to 2005559,0769.19.4
1991 to 2000 (10 year period)766,94312.413.1
1981 to 1990 (10 year period)768,31012.512.8
1971 to 1980 (10 year period)541,3228.88.3
1961 to 1970 (10 year period)590,0999.68.6
Arrived in 1960 or earlier415,3966.75.7
Not stated212,7473.53.2

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2016. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Overseas arrivals, 2016
Overseas arrivals, 2016 Not stated, Greater Capital Cities: 3.2% Arrived in 1960 or earlier, Greater Capital Cities: 5.7% 1961 to 1970, Greater Capital Cities: 8.6% 1971 to 1980, Greater Capital Cities: 8.3% 1981 to 1990, Greater Capital Cities: 12.8% 1991 to 2000, Greater Capital Cities: 13.1% 2001 to 2005, Greater Capital Cities: 9.4% 2006 to 2010, Greater Capital Cities: 16.4% 2011 to 9 Aug 2016, Greater Capital Cities: 22.4% Not stated, Australia: 3.5% Arrived in 1960 or earlier, Australia: 6.7% 1961 to 1970, Australia: 9.6% 1971 to 1980, Australia: 8.8% 1981 to 1990, Australia: 12.5% 1991 to 2000, Australia: 12.4% 2001 to 2005, Australia: 9.1% 2006 to 2010, Australia: 16.0% 2011 to 9 Aug 2016, Australia: 21.5%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the year of arrival for the overseas born population of Australia in 2016 compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a larger proportion of people who arrived before 2001, and a smaller proportion of recent overseas arrivals (those who arrived between 2011 to 9 Aug 2016).

Overall, 50.0% of the overseas born population arrived before 2001, and 21.5% arrived during or after 2011, compared with 48.5% and 22.4% respectively for Greater Capital Cities.

The major differences in year of arrival data in the population between Australia and Greater Capital Cities are:

  • A larger percentage of arrivals between in 1960 or earlier (6.7% compared to 5.7%)
  • A larger percentage of arrivals between 1961 and 1970 (9.6% compared to 8.6%)
  • A smaller percentage of arrivals between 2011 to 9 Aug 2016 (21.5% compared to 22.4%)

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