The changing shape of Australia’s overseas-born population

Population and Societies

545, June 2017

Immigration to Australia was dominated by migrants from the United Kingdom or continental Europe for a period of almost two centuries. In the late twentieth century, however, the composition of the overseas-born population began to change dramatically, as shown by Tom Wilson and James Raymer in their analysis of the period 1981 to 2011.

In Australia, the size, age-sex structure and origins of the overseas-born population underwent a dramatic transformation between 1981 and 2011. From largely settlement migrants from the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, immigration to Australia now hails from a much greater range of origins than previously. The overseas-born population has also grown older, and its structure is changing with successive inflows and outflows; many immigrants eventually return home or move elsewhere. Since the 1990s, the proportion of temporary migrants (students, business visa holders, and working holidaymakers) has increased

Receive the publication notice

On the same topic