United Kingdom citizens flock to Western Australia

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Official Australian government statistics show that the largest source of immigrants to the Australian state came from the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

19.5 percent of immigrants to Western Australia came from the United Kingdom in 2009-10, with New Zealand accounting for 11.9 percent and South Africa at 11.5 percent.

While immigration into Western Australia was down by 3487 people, immigration is expected to rise as the Australian economy heats up.

"The number of WA settlers is predicted to rise this year with the improving economic situation and an increased proportion of skilled migrants in the 2010-11 migration program," said a spokesperson for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

A popular immigration route into Australia is through skilled immigration. People can immigrate to Australia through sponsorship by an employer, state/territory government, or family member. In addition, people can immigrate to Australia independently, based on factors such as age, experience, and qualifications.

Skilled immigration into Western Australia in 2009-10 was 11,635.

DIAC has budgeted a total of 168,700 places for migration for 2010-11 with skilled immigration taking up 113,850 of that total.

"This will increase the proportion of skilled migrants to 67.5 per cent of the migration program to further address Australia's needs as the economic climate improves while still ensuring places for family migration and reunion," the spokesperson said.