A Socio-Demographic Profile of Māori Living in Australia
87 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 30, 2013
Māori are unique among Indigenous peoples in the settler states in that a substantial share of the population – nearly one in five – resides overseas, with the vast majority living in Australia. Using data from the 2011 Australian Census of Population and Housing, this paper examines the educational and employment outcomes of resident Māori in the prime working ages. It finds that Māori migrants, especially men, had much lower levels of completed education and tertiary participation than Australian-born Māori, non-Māori New Zealanders and the general Australian population. While the employment rate of Māori men in the prime working ages exceeded the national rate, they tended to be concentrated in low-skilled occupations and industries associated with greater vulnerability to exogenous shocks and restructuring. Income comparisons suggest a positive "migrant premium" for Māori workers in some lower-skilled jobs but relatively lower earnings for those employed in higher-skilled occupations. While some Māori in Australia may be living a relatively good life, there are multiple vulnerabilities and potential pitfalls amplified by the very limited access to social security should they lose their jobs. As Māori society becomes increasingly diasporic, understanding the experiences and circumstances of expatriate Māori warrants greater attention in terms of their contribution to Māori development pathways and self-determining aspirations 'at home'.
Keywords: Maori, migration, Australia, indigenous, mobility, census
JEL Classification: J00, J15, N37, O56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation