Australian immigration population grows

Melbourne skyline at night

Statistics from the Australian Department of Immigration and citizenship shows that the face of immigration in Australian is changing as more and more people come to work and study in the country. In the 1970s international airfares were too expensive for many people and the number of immigrants in Australia was less than 3 million people.

Today there are more than 6 million immigrants in Australia and at least one million of these have arrived in the country during the last 6 years. Data shows that around three-quarters of these recent migrants have settled in eastern states with 28% in New South Wales, 27% in Victoria and 19% in Queensland.

However, given its smaller population, Western Australia has attracted a reasonable share of 15%, well ahead of South Australia at 7%, ACT at 2% and Northern Territory and Tasmania both at just 1%. Most of these new immigrants prefer the security of life in large cities and that is why they are mostly settling in Sydney and Melbourne.

At the same time, there are also a large number of visas issued for visitors coming to Australia. Most of this increase is due to a large number of tourists that come from China and India, during the last decade.

The Working Holiday Visa has also proved itself as a very popular program fostering international and cultural exchange between participating countries. The program began in 1975 when Canada and UK signed up the scheme.

Today there are 19 countries participating in the programme plus an additional nine countries taking part in the Work and Holiday Programme. Most of these backpackers can be found working and holidaying in New South Wales.

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