Immigration in the last 5 years – focus on Queensland
The next article in our migration series looks at Queensland, the sunshine state. In recent years, Queensland has had very large population growth, particularly in the south-east. My article “Who is moving to the Gold Coast?” looks at some of the population trends here. But Queensland is also am overseas migrant destination. In our final article in this series, we analyse 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.
Queensland is the third-most populous state in Australia, with an official population of 4.58m at June 2011. It has been growing rapidly, and still is, though it has slipped back in the last year or so. A total of 121,000 permanent settlers migrated to Queensland over the 5 years between 2006 and 2011.
Migration streams in Queensland are close to the national average, with a few less Humanitarian migrants (7%) and slightly more skilled (62%).
The makeup of the migrant population in Queensland is similar to Western Australia, with the UK and South Africa being the two largest groups. In total, 26,200 people from the UK settled in Queensland over 5 years, or 21.6% of the total migrant settlement. Queensland offers the “sun & surf” lifestyle that people from the UK most associate with Australia, and to a very large extent they gravitate to this state and WA.
The second-largest group is from South Africa, with 10,100 migrants, 8.3% of the total, and the second largest destination for South African migrants in Australia. As we saw with WA, South African migrants usually come through the skilled migration stream, and are often associated with the mining industry, which has been booming in regional Queensland.
Following are India and China – while these were the major groups in NSW and Vic, they are much smaller groups in Qld. Nevertheless there were still 10,000 and 8,700 migrants respectively.
Other Asian countries are more strongly represented in Queensland’s migration. People from the Philippines and Korea have both settled in larger numbers than the national average, and a standout is #7 – Japan – with 2,600 migrants, Queensland makes up 32% of Australia’s Japanese in-migration and is the most popular destination.
Queensland also gets a higher than average share of migrants from Papua New Guinea (56% – presumably due to geographic proximity) Taiwan (37%), Hungary (30%) and Burundi (31%).
The 2006 Census data shows that the #2 birthplace in Queensland is New Zealand. With 148,000 New Zealanders residing there in 2006 (about 4% of the New Zealand population), it is a huge attractor for migrants from across the Tasman. New Zealanders (with a few exceptions) don’t need a visa to settle in Australia and aren’t in the settlement statistics. So we won’t have info about any further influx from New Zealand until the 2011 data are available.
So what are the main areas of migrant settlers in Queensland? Because of Queensland’s unusual LGA structure (a lower number of very large LGAs), and LGA amalgamations in 2008 not yet reflected in the data, it’s a little harder to see spatial patterns than in other places, but the majority settle in the south-east, with a few notable exceptions.
- The City of Brisbane (45,500) – As with most characteristics based on raw numbers, the largest LGA in Australia (population just over 1 million) dominates. Settlement in Brisbane accounted for about 40% of the Queensland total. The City of Brisbane already had 24% of its population born overseas at 2006 Census, so quite a diverse area. Another 45,000 people is likely to increase that. Brisbane acts more like the large cities of Melbourne and Sydney in terms of attraction of those from overseas, with large numbers of arrivals from India (5,700) and China (5,200), just pipped by the UK (5,800) for top spot. South Africa (2,600), the Philippines (2,300) and Korea (1,800) round out the top 6. Most of these are skilled stream arrivals, but Brisbane does take some humanitarian migrants, notably from Iran, Burma, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Afghanistan.
- The City of Gold Coast (15,450) – The second-largest LGA in Australia – More than any other area in the country, Gold Coast attracts New Zealanders who don’t need a visa to settle, so the numbers here won’t tell the whole story. Also Gold Coast’s boundaries have changed a bit since 2006, which is not reflected in the data -Nevertheless the Gold Coast attracts a lot of people from the UK (4,600), South Africa (1,500), China (1,100), and, notably, Japan (800). The Gold Coast adds roughly 15,000 people per year to its population, so only a minority of this is due to overseas migration.
- Moreton Bay Regional Council (7,790) – Amalgamation of Caboolture, Pine Rivers and Redcliffe – Another UK hotspot, north of Brisbane, the top countries of origin are UK (3,600), South Africa (1,200) and Philippines (500).
- Sunshine Coast Regional Council (6,100) – Amalgamation of Caloundra, Maroochy and Noosa – Well over half the migration to the Sunshine Coast (kind of the epitome of the sun & surf ideal) is from the UK (3,600). Other countries include South Africa (500) and the USA (200). Philippines (200) is the only significant non-English speaking country in the list.
- The City of Logan (5,530)- South-east of Brisbane, the City of Logan had an expansion to its area (taking in part of the Gold Coast) which is not reflected in this dataset. Logan is a very diverse area, and takes a much larger share of humanitarian migrants than other parts of Queensland. In 2006-2011, nearly 40% of Logan’s arrivals were in the humanitarian stream. The top countries of origin were the UK (550), Burma (500), Philippines (400), India (350) and Thailand (300). But more than any other area, Logan’s arrivals were not concentrated in one particular country of birth. A total of 73 different countries contributed settlers to Logan over this 5 year period, including significant numbers from Burundi, DR Congo, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Sudan, Laos, Cambodia and Fiji.
- Cairns Regional Council (4,750) – These figures relate to the old Cairns City – A handful of arrivals into the recently amalgamated Douglas Shire have been ignored. Cairns is a diverse place, with a very busy international airport. – Top countries of origin are the UK (900), Japan (500), Philippines (350), Korea (250) and Papua New Guinea (250).
Other regional areas such as Townsville (3,500 – UK, India, Philippines) and Mackay (2,300 – South Africa, Philippines) also feature prominently in Queensland’s total migration. Further analysis is difficult due to all the LGA amalgamations – data are still collected on the old boundaries at the moment.
You can view comprehensive community profiles of these areas on our website.
Once the 2011 Census data is released councils with profile.id will get information on all these migrant communities at the local suburb level, and 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.