The Sources and diversity of immigrant population change in Australia, 1981–2011

James Raymer*, Yanlin Shi, Qing Guan, Bernard Baffour, Tom Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)


Australia has one of the largest percentages of immigrant populations in the developed world with a highly regulated system of immigration control and regular censuses to track their changes over time. However, the ability to explain the population change through the demographic components of immigration, emigration, and death by age and sex is complicated because of differences in measurement and sources of information. In this article, we explore three methods for reconciling the demographic accounts from 1981 to 2011 for the Australia-born and 18 foreign-born population groups. We then describe how the immigrant populations have changed and what has contributed most to that change. We find that the sources of immigrant population change have varied considerably by age, sex, country of birth, and period of immigration. Immigrants from Europe are currently the oldest and slowest-growing populations, whereas those from elsewhere are growing rapidly and exhibit relatively young population age structures. Studying these patterns over time helps us to understand the nature of international migration and its long-term contributions to population change and composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1777-1802
Number of pages26
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Aging populations
  • Australia
  • Demographic accounting
  • Immigrant populations
  • International migration


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