Immigration To Australia

Immigration to Australia is estimated to have begun around 51,000 years ago when the ancestors of Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders arrived on the continent via the islands of the Malay Archipelago and New Guinea. Europeans first landed in the 17th and 18th centuries, but colonisation only started in 1788.

Since early 1945, more than 7 million people have come to Australia as new settlers. The trigger for a large-scale migration program was the end of World War II. Agreements were reached with Britain, some European countries and with the International Refugee Organization to encourage migration, including displaced people from war-torn Europe. Approximately 1.6 million migrants arrived between October 1945 and 30 June 1960, compared to about 1.3 million in the 1960s, about 960 000 in the 1970s, about 1.1 million in the 1980s, over 900 000 in the 1990s and over 900 000 since the year 2000.

The highest number of settlers to arrive in any one year since World War II was 185 099 in 1969–70. The lowest number in any one year was 52 752 in 1975–76.

Net overseas migration increased from 30,042 in 1992-93 to 177,600 in 2006-07. The largest components of immigration are the skills migration and family re-union programs. In recent years the mandatory detention of unauthorised arrivals by boat has generated great levels of controversy.

The 2011 Census showed that over one in four of Australia's 22 million people were born overseas. The number of settlers arriving in Australia from more than 200 countries between July 2008 and June 2009 totalled 158 021. Most were born in New Zealand (16.2 per cent), the United Kingdom (13.6 per cent), India (10.9 per cent), China (10.0 per cent) and South Africa (4.6 per cent).

Migration program outcomes have increased from 70 200 in 1999–00 to 168 685 in 2010–11.

The Humanitarian program for 2011–12 is set at 13 750 places. This category includes a 12 per cent target for Woman at Risk visas. This allocation also includes Onshore Protection visas granted to people who apply for protection in Australia and are found to be refugees. In 2010–11, a total of 13 799 visas were granted under the Humanitarian Program. A total of 5998 visas were granted under the offshore component, including 759 Woman at Risk visas. In addition, 2973 Special Humanitarian Program visas were granted to people outside Australia. A total of 4828 visas were granted to people in Australia. Australia resettles the third largest number of refugees of any country and more refugees, per capita, than any other nation in the world.

Read more about Immigration To Australia:  Earliest Migration, Penal Transportation, Gold Rush and Population Growth, Post-WWII Immigration, Multiculturalism Policy, Country of Birth of Australian Residents, Impacts and Concerns, Immigration and Ageism, Different Types of Immigration, Migration Agents, Migration and Settlement Services

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