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Who are your newest neighbours?

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26/3/2017

Since the migration of British colonial settlers in the 18th century, Australia’s population has grown rapidly to 24 million.

Approximately 200, 000 migrants receive permanent visas each year, though almost half of these are already in Australia on temporary visas.

That leaves 120, 000 migrants who arrived in this country in 2016: Australia’s newest settlers.

Where are these new neighbours from?

They are from 219 different countries, according to the Department of Social Services Settlement Database, which provides records of 'Country of Birth' for all permanent settlers.

The intake includes small numbers of people claiming birthplaces of countries no longer recognised as part of the international community, such as the USSR.

There are people from 'Korea' and 'America', though the database appends each of these records with '(so stated)'. There are even 'British subjects' listed.

There are also 1532 born in Australia - those who left earlier in their lives without claiming citizenship, only to return in 2016.

The most popular countries of birth are India (22, 500), China (18, 300), Iraq (8100), Syria (7600) and the Philippines (6100).

Why the move?

Australia’s permanent migrant intake can be broken down into three categories: humanitarian, family and skilled.
People to receive a visa in the first category have been assessed by the government as needing humanitarian assistance, without having any other durable solution available to them.

The second is a pathway for Australian citizens and permanent residents to bring over their family, including partners, parents and children.

The third draws willing workers from around the world to Australia based on their professional skills and the need for such skills in Australia.

22, 800 humanitarian visa holders arrived in 2016, boosted by a one-off intake of 12, 000 from Syria and Iraq announced by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in 2015 in response to the instability brought about by IS.
37, 500 arrived on family visas, along with 60, 000 skilled workers.

Where is home now?

Half of all entrants moved to either New South Wales (34, 800) or Victoria (28, 000), including more than two-thirds of all humanitarian migrants. 10, 000 set up their new lives in Queensland, 8, 600 in Western Australia 6, 700 in South Australia. Only 1, 100 made it across Bass Strait to Tasmania.

Western Sydney and city centres welcomed the highest concentrations of settlers. An influx of 4, 700 humanitarian migrants made Fairfield the council area that welcomed the most new arrivals - 5, 400 in total.

17 council areas received more than one new arrival per 100 residents, nine in NSW. Melbourne and Hume in Victoria, Strathfield, Parramatta and Holroyd in Sydney and Adelaide were areas, alongside Fairfield, to receive more than 1.5 arrivals per 100 residents.

Some councils - mostly small regional ones - did not welcome any new migrant neighbours and others received an extremely low intake. Of councils larger than 50, 000 residents, six received fewer than one new arrival per 2, 000 residents: Cessnock, Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie and Blue Mountains in NSW; Fraser Coast in Queensland; and Nillumbik in Victoria.

Why settle in some places more than others?

Arrivals on family and skilled visas are tied to the places of their personal and professional links.

The largest four areas for those arriving in the skilled visa stream are employment centres Brisbane, Melbourne, Parramatta and Sydney. Strathfield in NSW and Adelaide also recorded high 'skilled migrant per resident' ratios.

Suburban areas such as Dandenong in Victoria, Auburn, Hurstville and Burwood in NSW and Canning in WA attracted most migrants on family visas per resident.

Humanitarian entrants are settled in areas based on government policy.

'Special humanitarian' visa holders - one subset of the humanitarian stream - are proposed by sponsors in Australia. These individuals are obligated to meet them at the airport, provide initial accommodation, and familiarise them with Australian systems and services.

Senator Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Agricultural Affairs, said there were large ethnic communities established in particular metropolitan areas of Australia and a majority of the proposers are from these areas.

In identifying settlement locations for the humanitarian program generally, Senator Seselja said the government looks at potential regions and assesses their settlement services, opportunities for employment, family or community links, health and education access, the size and ethnic, cultural and religious composition of communities and the potential for the "harmonious" settlement of specific groups.

"Although some entrants are settled in regional towns across all states and territories, many entrants seek the larger communities, services and employment offered by the larger cities, ” he said.

The council areas with the highest number of humanitarian migrants per resident (based on 2011 populations), are:
•    Fairfield, NSW - 25 arrivals per thousand residents (4714 in total)
•    Hume, Vic - 14 (2378)
•    Liverpool, NSW - 8 (1412)
•    Playford, SA - 6 (440)
•    Salisbury, SA - 5 (704)
•    Glenorchy, Tas - 5 (233)
•    Launceston, Tas - 5 (298)
•    Melton, Vic - 4 (457)
•    Logan, Qld - 3 (926)
•    Wagga Wagga, NSW - 3 (190)

This map  identifies the country of birth most common in each council area among 2016 arrivals. Click on a region to see a breakdown of visa holders for arrivals in that area.

SBS, By Jackson Gothe-Snape, 26 Jan 2017

For questions about Australian visas, or to deal with relevant visa application please email to yana@becomeaustralian.com

 

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