According to data obtained by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), there is a total of around 2.5 million Filipino immigrants worldwide from 1981 to 2018, with Australia fourth in line among the top countries of destination after USA, Canada, and Japan. Almost 5.90% or 143,798 of the total number of Filipino emigrants were en route to Australia at the time of their registration with the CFO.
For seven years since 1981, an average of 3,200 Filipino emigrants left for Australia yearly. This fairly constant pattern had a sudden spike in 1988 when the CFO recorded the highest number of Filipino emigrants bound for Australia in a year at 9,319. It is worthy to note that events leading up to this year marked a number of major political conflicts in Philippine history, including terrorist attacks orchestrated by Islamic extremists on one side and communist insurgents on the other, as well as the January and August 1987 coup attempts against former President Corazon Aquino.
In 1989, the number of Australia-bound Filipino emigrants started to gradually decline until the year 2001. Around this period, the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front signed a ceasefire agreement to finally end guerilla warfare. The Filipino people also ousted former President Joseph Estrada through the EDSA II Revolution in 2001.
Starting 2002, the number of Filipino emigrants bound for Australia began to steadily rise again, amidst economic challenges and natural disasters that severely hit the country.