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Most asylum seekers who have reached Australia by boat have been found to be refugees. According to the Australian Parliamentary Library, between 70-100% have typically been found to be refugees. In 2012-13, 88% of asylum seekers who arrived by boat were found to be refugees.

Even if an asylum seeker is found not to be a refugee, however, it doesn’t mean that the person is an economic migrant or that his or her refugee claim was ‘made up’. It simply means that the person isn’t a refugee. For example, some asylum seekers may fear persecution but they don’t have enough evidence to back up their claims.  They may fear mistreatment which isn’t sufficiently serious to meet the definition of refugee. They may also be considered to be able to avoid persecution by moving to a safe area within their home countries.

Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia: Asylum seekers and refugees: what are the facts?