Migration to Australia 1990-2017
The biggest share of migrants to Australia between 1990 and 2017 came from the United Kingdom, followed by New Zealand and China. Other countries in the top 10 show a diversity across the globe: India, Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam, Italy, Malaysia and Germany.
According to The Guardian’s analysis of migration data from the mid 90s to today, the following key trends emerged: a high increase in Australia’s annual permanent migration intake (from 85,000 in 1996 to 208,000 last year), India and China emerged as the largest sources of migrants in the recent years. There has also been a shift from family migration to skilled migration targeting national workforce needs and an increase in temporary migration to Australia. Migration replaced the natural population increase (i.e. births) as the primary driver.
From the UN Migration Report 2017: Between 1990 and 2017, the number of international migrants worldwide rose by over 105 million, or by 69 per cent. Most of this increase occurred from 2005 to 2017, when some 5.6 million migrants were added annually, compared to an average of 2.5 million from 1990 to 2005.
In the period between 1990 and 2000, the international migrant stock grew at an average annual rate of change of 1.2 per cent, compared to 2.4 per cent from 2000 and 2010 and 2.3 per cent from 2010 to 2017. Between 1990 and 2017, the developed regions gained 64 million international migrants, which was 60 per cent of the 105 million added worldwide, whereas the developing regions added 41 million, or 40 per cent.
While the North grew at a steady average annual rate of 2.3 per cent in the period from 1990 to 2010, this rate has since declined to 1.6 per cent in the period from 2010 to 2017. For the South, the average annual rate of change was slightly negative (-0.1 per cent) from 1990 to 2000, but has been positive since then. The number of international migrants living in the South grew at an average annual rate of 2.6 per cent from 2000 to 2010 and at 3.2 per cent from 2010 to 2017, surpassing the pace of increase in the North.