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Fact sheet 16 – immigration research

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We conduct research and evaluation to assist in policy-making, operational decisions, and to inform the general public. This work includes:

  • surveys to evaluate the outcomes of recent migrants
  • research on current and emerging issues associated with immigration, population, multiculturalism and settlement, both commissioned and in-house
  • evaluation of departmental programmes
  • collection and analysis of immigration-related statistics.

Migrant surveys

The Continuous Survey of Australia's Migrants (CSAM)

The CSAM is designed to provide timely information on the labour market outcomes of recent migrants from the family and skill streams. In its first iteration, the CSAM surveyed migrants on two occasions six months apart, with a new cohort of migrants introduced to the survey every six months. The first survey was conducted in September 2009 and the final survey in September 2011. The next iteration of the CSAM commenced in late 2013 and will run until 2015. To increase the longitudinal aspect of the survey the duration between the introductory survey and the follow-up survey has been increased from six months to twelve months.

The survey is designed to provide information relating to questions such as:

  • What are migrant labour market outcomes at any point in time?
  • How do these outcomes improve with additional time living in Australia?
  • Which categories of migrants are associated with particularly good or particularly poor labour market outcomes?
  • How strong is the association between good English and positive labour market outcomes?
  • Are skilled migrants working in skilled jobs?
  • Are migrants having problems with housing affordability?
  • How satisfied are migrants with their housing?

Results and more information about these surveys are available on our website.

Research and evaluation programme

We invest in an ongoing programme of research and evaluation in order to better understand and manage migration activities. Research and evaluation enhance accountability and transparency by providing clear evidence to inform decision making on policy and programme development. By identifying what works, what doesn't, and in what circumstances, research, evaluation and analysis drive continuing improvements in the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of policies and programmes.

Details of current research and evaluation projects, copies of research and evaluation reports and publications from previous projects are available on the department's website.
See: Research Publications

Migrant statistics

Each year we produce the report: Australia's Migration Trends and as a supplement to this report Migration to Australia's states and territories. The reports provide a succinct and up-to-date summary of the characteristics of Australia's population, the composition of Australia's immigration programmes and the movement of people into and out of Australia.

We regularly publish detailed statistical profiles on Australia's stock of temporary entrants, emigration from Australia, settler arrivals, citizenship and the Migration Programme outcome. We also publish analysis and estimates of net overseas migration as well as profiles of the main source countries for permanent migration through a series of country profile publications.

More statistical information is available on our website.

Fact sheet 16. Produced by the National Communications Branch, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Canberra.
Last Reviewed April 2014.