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Refugee Council of Australia
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Home > Statistics > Statistics on people in detention in Australia

Statistics on people in detention in Australia

Key numbers (31 March 2019):

  • Numbers of people in held detention: 1,312 with key sites being Villawood (501) and Yongah Hill (315)
  • Average length of detention: 483 days, with 275 people having spent more than 730 days in detention
  • Numbers of people held in detention because they came seeking asylum by boat: 404
  • Number of children: in detention facilities including ‘Alternative Places of Detention’: less than 5, in community detention: 288, and in the community on a bridging visa E: 2,375
  • Number of people in community detention: 736, from Iran (398), stateless (90) or from Sri Lanka (82), with 279 people having spent more than 730 days in community detention
  • Key nationalities of people in detention: New Zealand (118), Iran (153), Vietnam (118), and Sri Lanka (79).

The Department of Home Affairs (formerly the Department of Immigration and Border Protection) publishes on its website monthly and yearly statistics about people it detains. Its monthly statistics include the number of people in detention facilities in Australia, offshore processing centres, and in the community (either under a ‘residence determination’, or with a ‘bridging visa’.)

You can download the graphs and the data here. You can also click on a graph to view a larger version.

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Contact us

Do you have a question about our statistics, or would you like to know more information? Contact us at policy@refugeecouncil.org.au.

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