The make up of Australia’s Migration Program has changed over time. Historically, migrants were primarily family migrants. While family migrants still make up a significant portion of Australia’s annual intake, over time, there has been a shift to skilled migration as the primary source of migration.
According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, currently 68 per cent of migrants are skilled migrants and 32 per cent of migrants are from family visa streams.
The size and composition of Australia’s migration program changes from year to year. The government makes changes to the profile of the migration intake according to what it sees as the economic and social priorities for Australia in the future, such as addressing immediate and future skills shortages.
In 2015-16, we had 189,700 permanent migrants come to Australia, the majority of which were skilled migrants (67.7%).
Primary source countries have shifted over time as well. The largest source countries for migrants in 2015-16 were India (21.2%) and China (15.3%). The United Kingdom has dropped to the third largest migrant source country(10%).
The states with the largest populations saw the majority of new migrations. The new migrants settled in NSW (32.5%) or Victoria (25%), with Western Australia and Queensland attracting 11% each.