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Is immigration into Australia about to surge? Article by Leith van Onselen

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released visitor arrivals and departures data for the month of January, which posted record annual permanent and long-term arrivals.

In the year to January 2019, there were 835,310 permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia – up 6% from January 2018 and an all-time high. This was partly offset by 546,310 permanent and long-term departures from Australia:


Put together, there were 289,000 net permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia in the year to January 2019, way above the 42-year average of 154,249:

While the ABS is at pains to state that “permanent and long-term movements… are not an appropriate source of migration statistics”, since they relate to the intention of passengers arriving, not actual outcomes (measured using the 12/16 rule), there is a strong correlation between this series and the ABS’ official quarterly net overseas migration (NOM) estimates:

Given the strong rise in net permanent and long-term arrivals over the second half of 2018, there’s a strong likelihood that ABS’ NOM estimate for September 2018 will jump when it is released on Thursday.

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