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India Tops UK, China to Become Australia’s Leading Source Of Migrants

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SYDNEY, AUSTRAILA, July 20,2012 (economictimes.com): India has topped Britain and China to become Australia’s leading source of migrants for the first time, data revealed on Friday, with seven of the top 10 source countries now in Asia. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said India accounted for 29,000 of the 185,000 places in Australia’s 2011-12 permanent migration programme — some 15.7 percent of the total and the first time the country has come top. China was a close second with 25,500 (13.8 percent), followed by 25,275 from Britain (13.7 percent), according to the 2011-12 Migration Programme report.

Skilled migration accounted for the majority of the program’s places, with accountants the top profession followed by cooks, software and applications programmers, software engineers and developers. “Skilled migration is essential to support our economy and help overcome the challenges of an ageing population,” said Bowen.

The report confirms census data released last month showing that Indian-born people were the fastest growing group in Australia, now accounting for 5.6 percent of the population, preceded only by China (6.0 percent) and New Zealand (9.0 percent). Analysts said the strong migration figures likely reflected a large number of Indians who had studied in Australia qualifying for sponsored employment and family visas being granted to their relatives.

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