Australia 101 Blog

Susan Wareham
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Australian Brain Drain

Tue, 07 Oct, 2008

News Photo - Australian Brain Drain

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, released a new report today that shows Australia experienced its biggest annual exodus on record with 76 923 people leaving the country permanently in 2007-08.

The Emigration 2007-2008 report reveals that almost half the Australian residents that left permanently were in skilled jobs and nearly two thirds were aged between 25 and 54.A further 102 066 Australian residents left the country for a year or more with more than 55 per cent in professional occupations or trades.

These figures reflect the current global demand for skills and the internationalisation of the labour market as part of the broader process of globalisation.

Other key findings in the report include:

  • The main countries of intended residence for all permanent departures were New Zealand (18.4 per cent), the United Kingdom (17.8 per cent), the United States of America (9.3 per cent), Hong Kong (7.2 per cent) and Singapore (6.4 per cent).
  • Those leaving are almost equally divided between Australian born and overseas born. This has been the case in every year since 1998-99.
  • The top five countries of birth for those leaving were: Australia 39 144, New Zealand 7820, United Kingdom 6 047, China 4480 and Hong Kong 2211.
  • Residents of New South Wales led the exodus with 31 390 people, followed by Victoria (16 408), Queensland (15 289), Western Australia (8388) and South Australia (3140).
  • 39 467 or 51 per cent of the permanent departures were men compared to 37 456 women (49 per cent).

Although there were 149 635 permanent settler arrivals in 2007-08, the net gain (arrivals minus permanent departures) was the highest in sixteen years.

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