Refugee Council of Australia
Collage of different photos of people holding up welcome signs

How many refugees have come to Australia?

How many refugees come compared to migrants?


This graph compares the size of the Refugee and Humanitarian Program with the size of the Migration Program.

The Migration Program has several ‘streams’. The Family stream is for people who have family in Australia. The skilled stream is for people who have skills that Australia encourages to migrate.

There are other kinds of visas, which are grouped under the ‘Special Eligibility’ category. Since 2015-2016, there has also been a stream for Child visas.

This graph shows that the main change to the Migration Program has been a major increase in the skilled part of the Program. The number of visas for family has dropped. The number of places for humanitarian reasons has remained largely the same.

This second graph shows the size of the refugee program compared to that of the Migration Program. This shows that the size of the refugee program has become smaller compared to the Migration Program since 2000.

The increase in 2017-18 reflects the resettlement of 12,000 people from the Syrian/Iraqi conflict.

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