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Net overseas migration from China to Australia FY 2008-2019

In financial year 2019, it was estimated that 29,290 more Chinese immigrated to Australia than those that emigrated. Since 2009 the lowest increase in Chinese net migration occurred in 2012 with an increase of just over 15,000 new migrants. By comparison, in 2017, Chinese net migration reached 50,000.

The Chinese community in Australia

Chinese migration to Australia dates back to the Australian gold rush of the 1850s and 60s, however, exclusionary migration policies up until the 1970’s restricted migration from China for some time. Since then, immigration from China has increased steadily and Chinese migrants now represent Australia’s second largest migrant group after the UK. The 2016 Australian census showed that Mandarin was the second most common language spoken at home in Australia, and Cantonese came in fourth. The Australian Chinese community also includes a significant proportion of the international students from China choosing to study in Australia.

Chinese investment in Australia

Although foreign investment in Australia still comes primarily from its traditional trade partners, the United States and the United Kingdom, Chinese investment has been increasing in recent years. The bulk of Chinese investment in Australia goes toward commercial real estate and agribusiness. In New South Wales alone, real estate investment from China totaled almost 4.5 billion Australian dollars, which accounted for almost half of all Chinese real estate investment in the country. By comparison, in 2017 the import value of Australian food products to China displayed yet another year on year increase, totaling more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Net overseas migration from China to Australia from financial year 2008 to 2019

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Release date

April 2020



Survey time period

FY 2009 to FY 2018

Special properties

Australia's financial year runs from July of one year to June of the following year; for example, the financial year 2018 starts on July 1, 2017 and ends on June 30, 2018

Supplementary notes

Net Overseas Migration (NOM) is the net gain or loss of population through migration to Australia and emigration from Australia.

Figures have been rounded.

*Estimates for 2018-19 are preliminary.

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Statistics on "Migration in Australia"

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