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'Highly engaged': Study finds Indians most keen in the world to live in Australia

An Australian passport pictured in Brisbane, Thursday, July 25, 2013. Source: AAP Image/Dan Peled

A new study has found that Indians are highly interested in Australia as a migration destination, with people from other countries, including China and Spain, not as actively engaging with information about immigration to Australia.

People from only one country – India - have a 'high degree of interest' in Australia, according to a recent study conducted by Anna Boucher, Associate Professor in Public Policy and Political Science at the University of Sydney, with Elisa Choy, founder of Maven Dataan strategic market research company.


  • A study has found that Indians have a 'high degree of interest' in migrating to Australia.
  • The survey was based on an analysis of how people engaged with all publicly available online immigration sources.
  • It also found that there is a very negative sentiment among Indians about racism in Australia.

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The survey was based on an analysis of how people engaged with all publicly available online immigration sources. 

The researchers used sources such as Google search, discussion on blogs, social media and online comments.

And the findings are surprising, according to Prof Boucher.

'Only Indians are highly interested'

Associate Professor Boucher says apart from Indians, other language speakers were not very interested in Australia as a migration destination.

"We focused on key language areas. So the most common languages spoken in Australia among our migrants are English, Chinese, Indian English, i.e. English media used in India, Arabic, global Spanish and global Vietnamese," says Prof Boucher. 

And apart from those speaking English in India who have a high level of interest in coming to Australia, other language speakers were less engaged.

The study included both Australian and foreign websites.

The researchers searched and extracted all the online content related to immigration available through open-sourced websites, blogs and social media with artificial intelligence.

To analyse what potential migrants think about migrating to Australia, the researchers looked at how people in Australia's major migration source countries engaged with Australian and other English-language media and Chinese, Indian, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Spanish online information sources.

Negative sentiment towards racism

Professor Boucher says Indians are very interested in coming to Australia, but they are concerned about racism.

"Indians are highly engaged in a very active way. They are mainly interested in migrating.

"But they have concerns over migration intake, COVID recovery, opportunities within migration program, the Global Talent Visa in an area of interest," explains Prof Boucher adding that treatment of migrants is also a key concern for Indians.

Among English speaking Indians in India, there is a very negative sentiment towards racism in Australia.

"And there is an intense negative feeling among almost all English speaking Indians who engage on this topic," she told SBS Hindi.

The study also concluded that Chinese speakers were generally not engaged with Australia as a potential migration destination.

"However, when they did look at information about Australia online, it was centred on the country's healthcare system, management of COVID-19 and the government's relationship with China."

"Spanish speakers were more interested in the US as a potential immigration destination (despite high levels of COVID-19 cases). This is a key finding, as Spanish speakers are a potential source of increasing migration for Australia given the population growth in Latin America," according to the study.

The use of Artificial Intelligence

This study used advanced analytics to measure "the intensity of people's emotions on a topic to predict both their actual beliefs and future behaviour".

Elisa Choy of Maven Data says strong emotions change people's behaviour.

"When we analysed these topics around migration, we sourced all the content in the open internet, including websites, blogs and social media. Through AI, we analysed how people engaged with this content online in the privacy of their own homes.

"So the Internet is our market sample. It's the comprehensive sample from which we do accurate measures of how people feel about any issue, and most importantly, we get to understand why they feel that way," she says.

We know that when we're discussing certain types of issues like politics or religion or racism, people may not be comfortable telling the truth in public.

Ms Choy explains how the AI-based analysis is reliable.

"When we apply AI on the open internet, we don't need to ask anyone a question. People are free to read, share, engage, comment or post all content online about whatever they want. Nobody needs to know."

"We analyse this behaviour online. And it's through these measures that we can then get an accurate, unbiased read of how people really feel," says Ms Choy.

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