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Nov 19, 2009

Datapig: the facts on boat people, graphed for your pleasure

All the facts on the numbers of people arriving in Australia by boat since 1989, graphed for your pleasure.

There’s a lot of rhetoric about boat people at the moment. Here are the facts on the numbers of people arriving by boat since 1989, graphed for your pleasure:

2001–02 data includes arrivals at excised and non-excised places.

2008–09 figures include crew members and the five people killed following an explosion on board a boat on April 16, but do not include the two men found drifting in an Esky in the Torres Strait on January 17, 2009, or the four people found on Deliverance Island with no sign of a boat on April 29, 2009.

2009–10 figures include the 12 people who died during the boat sinking of November 1, 2009, but do not include the asylum seekers on board the Oceanic Viking intercepted in Indonesian waters.

Source: Phillips and Spinks, Boat arrivals in Australia since 1976, Parliamentary Library, last updated 18 November 2009: accessed 19 November2009.

Data Pig will be filing his graph pr0n for Crikey once a week. If you have any news issue that you think could do with some graphical clarification, number crunching or statistical analysis, email with ‘Data Pig’ in the subject line.

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3 thoughts on “Datapig: the facts on boat people, graphed for your pleasure

  1. RaymondChurch

    As indicated by the graph, the numbers of arrivals by asylum seekers this and last year is ‘bugger all’. As suspected, Turnbull and the Opposition is using asylum seekers as a political football, for nothing more than their own political means. To be expected from a rabble of an Opposition, with a weak insignificant leader. Sort that lot out.

  2. Tony Kevin

    And 353 people drowned on SIEV X on 19 October 2001, when Australian border protection agehcies, knowing the boat had set sail in a dangerously overloaded unsafe condition, did not conduct a Safety of Life at Sea aerial P3-C Orion search for it, because they ”assumed it had turned back” in worsening seas. Might have something to do with the precipitous drop in boat people numbers after October 2001, perhaps? And might have been worth mentioning along with Tampa, David, as Crikey readers study your pleasant graph ?

  3. MichaelT

    The figures suggest a correlation between Pacific Solution and the almost complete cessation of arrivals, although they also suggest that the introduction of the temporary visa brought about a massive explosion in arrivals!

    But were there other events the external environment in 1999 and 2001 that may have operated on the ‘push’ factors?

    The graph may be misleading, as the captions may not point out all the factors. Admittedly they don’t line up with either the Afghanistan or the Iraq wars.

    Even if the Pacific Solution ‘worked’ however, it was unstainable and inhumane, and even the Opposition hasn’t suggested re-introducing it.