Taiwan-born people were first counted separately in the Australian census in 1976. Prior to this, the Taiwan-born population were counted as China-born. From the mid-1970s onwards, the Taiwanese community in Australia has rapidly increased due to changing economic and political conditions in Taiwan. Indeed, during the 1980s, increasing wages along with loosening political controls enabled more Taiwanese to travel abroad and to seek international investment opportunities. During this time, Taiwan was one of Australia’s target source for business migrants, with a number of Taiwanese migrants entering under the business migration program.
Since the 1980s, Taiwan has been a regular source of skilled migrants to Australia. Almost half of the Taiwan-born population in Australia arrived in the last ten or so years, meaning that the Taiwanese community is rapidly growing. Today, over half of the Taiwan-born community are under the age of 35, reflecting the significance of family and student migration. At the 2016 Census, 65.8% of the Taiwan-born aged 15 years and over had some form of higher non-school qualification.1
1 Department of Home Affairs, 2018