India is Australia's largest source of migrants, followed by China, UK

India News Bulletin Desk

For the first time, India has become the largest source of permanent migrants to Australia. China and the UK were its second and third largest sources of permanent immigrants.

Indian migrants made up 15.7% or 29,018 places of the total of 185,000 places in the 2011-12, said Chris Bowen MP, Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. This was up from 21,768 in the previous year (2010-11).

“For some time, India has been a source of increasing numbers of new migrants to our country and it is now our largest source of permanent migrants,” Bowen said.

Chinise and the British migrants comprised of a total of 25,509 and 25,274 places respectively to become other major sources of immigrants. The total number of migrants from the UK increased from 23,931 in 2012-11 to make up 13.7% of the total migration programme this year.

Although the number of Chinese migrants was down from the previous year (29,547), it still was one of the top sources of immigrant population in Australia.  

Seven of the top 10 source countries in 2011-12 are from Asian countries such as India, China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam, Australia’s immigration figures showed.

Skilled migration accounted for over two-thirds, with a 2011-12 skill stream outcome of 125,755 places.

“The Indian community has made a valuable contribution to economic, social and cultural life in Australia, and this will continue with more Indians choosing to make their home here,” Bowen added.

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The family stream of migrants also increased at 58,604 places, representing 31.7% of the total number of immigrants.

The number of Indian immigrants to Australia increased despite the recent incidents of violence against Indian students in southern Melbourne.

An Indian government report concluded that more than 15% of the total reported assaults against Indian students in Australia in 2009 was racially motivated. In 2009, India was the second largest source country for Australia’s international education industry with a total of 120,913 Indian students. The assaults on Indian students led to diplomacy tensions between India and Australia and the number of Indian students to the country fell.

The total number of immigrants for 2011-12 at 184 998 was within the Australian government’s planned target of 185,000, Bowen added.

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