New Delhi: India has become Australia's largest source of permanent migrants, surpassing China and United Kingdom.
"Indian migrants comprised a total of 29,018 places or 15.7 per cent of the total migration programme of 185,000 places under the 2011-12 permanent migration programme," said a release issued by the Australian High Commission.
The development was greeted by Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese who said, "For the first time, India is Australia's largest source of permanent migrants."
The release said India has surpassed China and the United Kingdom as the largest source of permanent migrants. Commenting on the figures, Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen said that while "Indian community has made a valuable contribution to economic, social and cultural life in Australia, and I know this will continue with more Indians choosing to make their home here".
The release said seven of the top 10 source countries in Australia's during 2011-12 migration programme from Asia are India, China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam.
Skilled migration accounted for over two-thirds of Australia's total migration program, the release said.