Where Australia’s migrants are coming from
Indians have again dominated the nation's migrant intake, with about 26,000 processed as permanent arrivals in the last year.
Indians now more than double the annual number of UK settlers, who were the third biggest migrant group in 2019-20, according to a new Department of Home Affairs report.
Australia processed 140,366 permanent settlers last year - the lowest intake in 15 years. Numbers will fall even further over the next year amid continuing pandemic shutdowns.
After Indians, the next biggest arrival group was Chinese citizens with 18,587 people, UK citizens (10,681), Filipinos (8965) and Vietnamese (5398).
Strikingly, there were more Nepalese given permanent visas (5048) than New Zealanders (4997).
It's believed that most of the Nepalese are former students given permanent skilled visas while still living in Australia.
The migration program delivered 95,843 skilled places, including 29,261 sponsored by employers and 23,372 in the new regional Australia category.
Nearly 42,000 visas were for family migration, mainly taken by the partners of Australians (37,118 places).
NSW had the biggest intake of any state with 44,182 settlers, then Victoria (34,189), Queensland (18,743), SA (11,996) and WA (11,377).
Australian Population Research Institute director Dr Bob Birrell said the program level set by the federal government at the time of the 2019-20 budget had been 160,000.
"But since 2016-17 the program has been regarded as a ceiling, not a target," he said.
"The Coalition has clearly decided that high migration in Covid-19 circumstances was not a good idea, and accordingly have reduced the number of visas issued in both the skill and the family components below the program level.
"This is a sensible decision."
Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said that two-thirds of permanent visas were granted to people already in Australia who transitioned from a temporary to permanent visa.
"There were also 13,171 visas granted in the humanitarian program in 2019-20, including 4765 visas (45 per cent) for those who were referred for settlement in regional areas," he said.
"The size and composition of the 2020-21 migration and humanitarian programs will be considered in light of the developing COVID-19 situation and announced as part of the Budget process in October."
Originally published as Where Australia's migrants are coming from