The shocking photo of a toddler drowned on a beach while fleeing Syria has had a galvanising effect worldwide on people demanding a solution to the refugee crisis immediately.
Despite being on the other side of the world, Australia has also worn plenty of criticism in the past few days as its border protection measures again come under global scrutiny.
“Population experts” id have pulled together some statistics to provide some context to the debate here, and highlight the figures amid the political bluster.
Some of the numbers might surprise you. Here’s the breakdown:
How many refugees settled in Australia?
In 2014, Australia provided a home and a new start for 11,970 refugees. That’s about 8% of all Australia’s migrants for the calendar year.
A further 8-10% of intake is assumed to come under the banner of “not recorded”.
So as Australia’s population in 2014 grew by 1.4%, refugees made up only 0.05% of that growth.
Where did our refugees come from in 2014?
Just over half came from war-torn regions in Iraq (20.1%), Afghanistan (15.8%) and Syria (15.4%).
Where do refugees settle in Australia?
The outer suburbs of Australia’s biggest cities, such as Fairfield and Liverpool (NSW) and Hume (Vic), take the largest numbers of migrants.
But when it comes to taking the largest percentage of migrants who are refugees (officially in the “humanitarian” stream), there are two clear winners:
And just this weekend, Tasmania premier Will Hodgman announced he had spoken with prime minister Tony Abbott about allowing 500 more asylum seekers into Tasmania through the Commonwealth’s new Safe Haven Enterprise Visa scheme.
“Our door’s open,” he told the Launceston Examiner. “We’ll just get those details nailed down and hopefully be in a good position to welcome additional people to our state.”
“We are keen to not only boost our population but to show a humanitarian approach in dealing with what is a terrible global problem.”
And Tasmanian Opposition leader Bryan Green said accepting 500 more refugees should “just be the start” of Tasmania’s response.
All the stats say refugees are driven and loyal to their new country
According to an ABS release on Friday, refugees are more likely than any other migrant category to start their own business.
As it stands, Australia could take 10 times as many refugees from Syria as it did last year (up to 20,000) and even without reducing the intake from other countries – as the Federal Government has suggested – Australia’s population would increase by less than 0.1%.
id has more stats and graphs here.