http://demography.anu.edu.au/jpr/abstracts.html

WORKERS FOR AUSTRALIA: A PROFILE OF BRITISH AND IRISH MIGRANTS ASSISTED TO NEW SOUTH WALES IN 1841

John McDonald, The Flinders University of South Australia
Eric Richards, The Flinders University of South Australia

Convict transportation to New South Wales was terminated in 1841. It was swiftly replaced by a new population stock in the form of the greatest Australian immigration before the gold rushes. This profile of 20,000 British and Irish assisted migrants, based on individual-level data, establishes their age, sex, religious, educational and occupational characteristics. Their composition differed markedly from the existing colonial population and other migrant flows at the time: They reflected the recruiting methods of the time as well as the changing migration propensities in the British Isles. The migrants were better human capital than was acknowledged at the time. They constituted a new start in Australian demographic development. This reconstruction of the socio-economic characteristics of the 1841 migrants provides a new mid-century benchmark for systematic comparisons with other migrant populations, within and beyond Australia, and in other periods. It is a contribution to the quantitative study of colonial society.
Note that of the convicts shipped over for labour, perhaps 1 in 20 were female.