Refugee Council of Australia
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Statistics on people in detention in Australia

Length of detention

The graphs on this page show how long people are spending in detention in Australia.

The first graph shows the number of people who have been detained for different periods of time. This is based on the monthly statistics published by the Department of Home Affairs.

Since August 2020, the Department has provided further breakdown for people who have spent more than 2 years in detention. The next graph shows that breakdown.

The average number of days people spend in detention (now 735 days) is a drop from the previous high of 806 days in January 2023.

This graph shows the average time by nationality of those in held detention.

This next graph shows the extreme length of time some people have been held in detention. It shows that over 120 people have been in detention for five years or more, with several having spent more than ten years in detention.


This graph shows the length of detention for people who are stateless. As they are stateless, they cannot readily be returned to their country of origin.

This graph shows their recorded country of birth.

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