The sources and diversity of immigrant population change in Australia, 1981-2011

James Raymer, Yanlin Shi, Qing Guan, Bernard Baffour, Thomas Wilson

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    Australia has one of the largest percentages of immigrant populations in the developed world with a highly regulated system of immigration control and regular censuses to track their changes over time. However, the ability to explain the population change through the demographic components of immigration, emigration, and death by age and sex is complicated because of differences in measurement and sources of information. In this paper, we explore three methods for reconciling the demographic accounts from 1981 to 2011 for the Australia-born and 18 foreign-born population groups and then describe how the immigrant populations have changed and what has contributed most towards that change. We find the sources of immigrant population change have varied considerably by age, sex, country of birth and period of immigration. Immigrants from Europe are currently the oldest and slowest growing populations, whereas those from elsewhere are growing rapidly and exhibit relatively young population age structures. Studying these patterns over time helps us to understand the nature of international migration and its long-term contributions to population change and composition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1777-1802
    Number of pages26
    Issue number5
    Early online date27 Sep 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


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