Migration in the last 5 years – focus on Victoria
The next article in our migration series looks at the state of Victoria. This series of articles analyses the data available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website, to look at likely changes in the makeup of the population which we will see when the Census results are out next year. Local area information is available, which is very important for planning service delivery.
While New South Wales had the largest number of settler arrivals between 2006 and 2011, Victoria was not far behind, with just over 220,000 settlers, 26% of the national total (remember this doesn’t include people on student visas, or most people from New Zealand, as they don’t need to be granted residency). Victoria, along with Western Australia, gets a large share of migrants relative to its population size. Who are they and where did they settle?
The breakdown of Victorian arrivals by the three main settlement streams shows that 59% of the settlers arrived in the skilled migration stream – high, but not as high as the resource states of Queensland and WA. Another 32% were family reunion migrants. The remaining 9% (about 20,000 people) were humanitarian migrants, including refugees.
Victorian migrants between 2006 and 2011 came from 214 different countries, of which 94 countries of birth contributed more than 100 people each. While the UK was the number one source country nationally, Victoria, like NSW, has a lower proportion from the UK (perhaps driven by the desire for a sunny climate they gravitate to QLD, SA and WA).
The largest number of migrants to Victoria came from India, with 40,200 people, or 18.3% of total migration. China was not far behind, with 37,900. Then it was the UK, well back on 17,800, followed by Sri Lanka (10,615) and the Philippines (8,900).
The Sri Lankan migration into Victoria is quite remarkable, being the 4th largest source of new migrants. In the last 5 years, Victoria has become the new home of almost half (46%) of all the Sri Lankan migrants to Australia. This is likely to increase the population of Sri Lankan-born of 31,000 in the last Census by about a third. Some of these are humanitarian migrants but the vast majority came under the skilled migration stream. Sri Lankan migration into Victoria is highly concentrated in Melbourne’s south-east, including Greater Dandenong, Casey and Monash.
Another country with a large number of arrivals into Victoria relative to other states is Burma. 41% of all Burmese arrivals into Australia settled in Victoria. With an oppressive military government in the country, almost all of the 4,000 Burmese arrivals were refugees coming through the humanitarian stream. They are building a new life for themselves in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, particularly Maroondah in the east (780 Burmese arrivals in an area not normally known for being highly diverse) and Wyndham (770) and Brimbank (420) in the west. Quite a few Burmese settlers have also moved to regional areas such as Geelong and Bendigo.
Other countries with disproportionately large numbers settling in Victoria include Afghanistan (38% of national total), Vietnam (35% – mainly family reunions coming to join existing family), Pakistan (33%) and Sudan (31%). Though relatively small in absolute number of arrivals (all less than 2,000 people), Victoria also gets a larger than average share of those from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Turkey, Israel and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
As well as lower numbers from the UK, notably Victoria gets a smaller share of those from Korea (17%), South Africa (11%), Bangladesh (17%), Nepal (14%) and Zimbabwe (13%).
So where is everyone going? The majority of new migrants settle in Melbourne, and areas which already have a large amount of cultural diversity tend to gain the largest numbers.
- The City of Greater Dandenong (14,700) – Already with more than half the population born overseas, Greater Dandenong (which includes the highly diverse area of Springvale) continues to attract the most migrants. While Vietnam is the number 1 country of origin of the current residents, it was only the 4th largest migrant groups. India (3,630) and Sri Lanka (1,765) were the top 2, both mostly skilled migrants, followed by Afghanistan (1,142, mostly humanitarian). 75 countries of birth are represented in Greater Dandenong’s 2006-2011 migration alone. Unfortunately Greater Dandenong is one of only two Melbourne metro councils who do not have a .id community profile.
- The City of Monash (13,267) – A fairly affluent area increasingly popular with migrants upgrading their homes, and also students wanting to be near the university. Monash has had rapidly increasing cultural diversity for the last 20 years. In 1991 the proportion of overseas born was about the Melbourne average, but by 2006 was much higher and has certainly continued to grow. The largest countries of origin are China (4,550), India (2,200), Sri Lanka (1,350) and Malaysia (900).
- The City of Casey (13,212) – Now Victoria’s largest population LGA and still growing strongly, in recent years it has gained a lot of cultural diversity from people upgrading their homes from nearby Greater Dandenong. Now it looks like many migrants are moving straight to Casey. Migration into this area is dominated by the subcontinent, India (2,900) and Sri Lanka (1,730), followed by Afghanistan (1,500), China (1,000 and the Philippines (800).
- The City of Wyndham (11,048) – Victoria’s fastest growing area, which is adding around 10-12,000 people annually, so overseas migration makes up a relatively small part of this. Most of the growth is due to people moving within metro Melbourne, and births. The largest numbers of overseas arrivals to Wyndham are from (India (2,700), China (1,050), Philippines (1,000), the UK (800) and Burma (770).
- The City of Brimbank (10,920) – Another of Melbourne’s most diverse areas, in the western suburbs. Brinbank’s largest group of migrants was from India (2,200), followed by Vietnam (1,800 – almost all family reunion migration, due to the large existing Vietnamese population) and the Philippines (1,100)
- The City of Whitehorse (9,353) – Another area with rapidly increasing cultural diversity in recent years, the middle ring eastern suburbs of Box Hill, Blackburn, Nunawading etc. Whitehorse’s migrants are dominated by China (3,900 – second only to Monash), followed by India (1,300), Malaysia (600) and Sri Lanka (400).
- These are followed by Melbourne (8,528), Boroondara (7,680), Hume (7,449), Glen Eira (7,037) and Moreland (6,969).
Some areas without particularly large migrant intakes overall, nevertheless receive large numbers of specific migrant groups. In some cases, these are refugee groups coming in via the humanitarian stream. These include regional areas like Geelong, Shepparton and Bendigo, where the humanitarian stream makes up more than one-third of all migrants (remember it’s about 9% for Victoria overall).
Worth noting for the differing makeup of the migrant groups are:
- Yarra (UK)
- Bayside (UK)
- Maroondah (Burma, India)
- Manningham (China, Malaysia, Iran)
- Greater Geelong (Philippines, Burma, Thailand)
- Greater Bendigo (India, Burma)
- Greater Shepparton (Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Albania)
- Latrobe (India, Sudan)
To view comprehensive community profiles of these areas, click here.
Once the 2011 Census data is released we will get information on all these communities at the local suburb level, and our profile.id subscribers will be able to access information on population change back to 1991, and the full list of over 100 countries of birth for their areas. It will also reveal whether most migrants stay where they initially settle or move substantially into new areas.
.id is a team of demographers, population forecasters, spatial planners, urban economists, and data experts who use a unique combination of online tools and consulting to help governments and organisations understand their local areas. Access our free demographic resources here