The number of people permanently settling in South Australia grew substantially last year, increasing by 17,3%, according to a new report.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s (DIAC) latest Settler Arrivals report shows that numbers increased from 9,695 in 2008/09 to 11,377 in 2009/10 and that South Australia remains a popular destination for British and Indian people with an increasing number of arrivals from both countries.
On the national front, there were 140,610 settler arrivals in Australia in 2009/10, a decrease of 11% from the previous year. ‘The numbers of settler arrivals are now near the level they were in 2006/07,’ a departmental spokesman said.
The figures show that New Zealand and China are now the top two source countries by birth, with India, the United Kingdom and South Africa making up the remaining countries in the top five.
A departmental spokesman said the Australian Government was committed to a migration programme, which was targeted, to help grow Australia’s economy and meet critical labour needs.
‘The Australian Government has undertaken a series of strategic reforms of the skilled migration program, to make it more responsive to Australia’s labour market demands. These reforms are about selecting the best and brightest people from a large pool of potential migrants,’ the spokesman said.
The government announced in the 2010/11 Budget a total of 168,700 places for migration, comprising a total skill stream of 113,850 places, a total family stream of 54,550 places and 300 special eligibility places.
‘This will increase the proportion of skilled migrants to 67.5% of the migration programme to further address Australia’s needs as the economic climate improves while still ensuring places for family migration and reunion,’ the spokesman added.
The report also shows that the gender split for settler arrivals since 1996/97 has seen slightly more females than males in total.
As a percentage of total settler arrivals and including both primary and secondary applicants, the Skill Stream has dropped from a high of 46.2% in 2003/04 to 43.8% in 2009/10 while Family has risen from a low of 21.6% in 1999/00 to 30.6% in 2009/10.
Humanitarian as a percentage of total settler arrivals has fluctuated from 10.7% in 2004/05 down to 7% in 2009/10.
Although New Zealand citizen migration is not under the control of the Australian or New Zealand governments it does constitute a large percentage of total settler arrivals from a high of 40.7% in 2000/01 down to 18.5% in 2009/10.