About these statistics
The Australian Government does not provide many statistics regularly on offshore processing. The statistics on how many people are on Nauru and PNG, their nationality, the number of transfers, and the number resettled to the US or other countries is not provided regularly. Most of the information in this page comes through information provided through Senate estimates. Usually, the information provided in this way is already outdated by the time it is provided (for example, for the round of Senate estimates in October 2018, most information was provided as of 22 October or 30 September 2018, although the answers were not available until late December). As well, it should be noted that there are limitations and gaps in the data as the information depends on the way the question was asked and the frequency with which it is asked.
The main information still provided regularly by the Department is the numbers removed or returned (‘voluntarily’ or involuntarily) from offshore processing countries through its monthly updates on Operation Sovereign Borders, which began in September 2013. The numbers living in the Regional Processing Centres was also published in these updates as well as more detailed breakdowns in the Department of Home Affairs’ monthly detention statistics.
- 3,127 people have been sent to Nauru or PNG as part of offshore processing arrangements since 19 July 2013 (when the then Prime Minister announced that they would no longer be resettled in Australia).
- On 28 February 2019, it was reported that there were 394 people left on Nauru, 580 in PNG and 493 resettled in the US, 265 people had been rejected for resettlement in the US, and that the last four children had departed for the US
- In the latest detailed official breakdown from Senate estimates, as of 18 February 2019 (when there were 1,015 people still left on both islands)
- there were 330 recognised refugees in Nauru, 26 who had not been recognised and 75 whose status had not been determined
- there were 456 recognised refugees in PNG, 121 who had not been recognised and 7 who had been granted complementary protection.
- Up till 18 February 2019, there had been 1,246 people transferred to Australia for medical reasons (including accompanying family members) since offshore processing began. Of these, there were 898 still remaining in Australia, including 807 refugees and 257 children, with 7 people not recognised as refugees and 64 whose status had not been determined (including 29 children).