Boat People: the real data

Published in Crikey.

There’s a lot of rhetoric about boat people at the moment.  Here are the facts on the number of people arriving by boat since 1989.

Data from 2001–02 onwards includes arrivals at both excised and non-excised places.

2008–09 figures include crew members and the 5 people killed following an explosion on board a boat on 16 April, but do not include the 2 men found drifting in an esky in the Torres Strait on 17 January 2009, or the 4 people found on Deliverance Island with no sign of a boat on 29 April 2009.

2009–10 figures include the 12 people who died during the boat sinking of 1 November 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 November 2009.

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