Where Australia’s Migrants Come From

Australia is one of the most multicultural societies in the world. Our population hails from a vast range of countries from all across the globe.
Australia, Nation of Immigrants

Sources of Australia’s Population

Australia is one of the most multicultural societies in the world. Our population hails from a vast range of countries from all across the globe. Let’s look at some key statistics to learn more specifically where Australia’s migrants have come from.

Australian Migration Facts and Stats

Australia’s Migrants Today

News.com reports that “There were about 2.2 million permanent migrants in Australia in 2016.”

The Department of Home Affairs lists that “The top 10 countries providing the most permanent migrants to Australia in order of rank for 2017–18 are:

India

People’s Republic of China

United Kingdom

Philippines

Pakistan

New Zealand

Vietnam

South Africa

Malaysia

Nepal”

Source: Department of Home Affairs

Asia is Australia’s largest source of permanent migrants
Asian Vegetable Market in Australia

Following are stats about four of the biggest (in descending order) migrant communities in Australia, those from India, China, the UK, the Philippines.

“At the end of June 2017, 537,780 Indian-born people were living in Australia, almost three times the number at 30 June 2007. This makes the Indian-born population the fourth largest migrant community in Australia, equivalent to 7.5 per cent of Australia’s overseas-born population and 2.2 per cent of Australia’s total population.” Source: Department of Home Affairs

At the same time, “At the end of June 2017, 606,450 Chinese-born people were living in Australia, more than twice the number at 30 June 2007. After the United Kingdom, the People’s Republic of China (China) is the second largest migrant community in Australia, equivalent to 8.5 per cent of Australia’s overseas-born population and 2.5 per cent of Australia’s total population.” Source: Department of Home Affairs

Regarding migrants from the UK, the Department notes: “At the end of June 2017, almost 1.2 million people who were born in the United Kingdom were living in Australia, 4.0 per cent more than at 30 June 2007. This makes it the largest migrant community in Australia, equivalent to 16.8 per cent of Australia’s overseas-born population and 4.9 per cent of Australia’s total population.” Source: Department of Home Affairs.

Re the Philippines, “At the end of June 2017, 265,800 Filipino-born people were living in Australia, more than three-quarters (75.8 per cent) the number at 30 June 2007. This is the fifth largest migrant community in Australia, equivalent to 3.7 per cent of Australia’s overseas-born population and 1.1 per cent of Australia’s total population.” Source: The Department of Home Affairs

The third largest migrant community in Australia is from New Zealand. Read their statistics and those from other countries.

Source: Department of Home Affairs

The People's Republic of China (China) is the second largest migrant community in Australia.
Chinatown in Melbourne Australia

Current Influence of Asian Immigration

The ABC reports that “Asia is Australia’s largest source of permanent migrants…

“In the 2016-17 financial year, Asia accounted for 56 per cent of Australia’s migrant intake.

“‘Australia, like many populations around the world, is structurally ageing and competing for migrants with countries like Canada, the US and the UK,’ Australian National University demographer Liz Allen said.

“‘Australia is now looking to countries in the region, like China and India, as key sources of suitably skilled migrants to fill … deficits in our workforce.’”

Read a full list (with numbers) of the countries where Australia’s permanent migrants came from in 2016-2017.

At the end of June 2017, almost 1.2 million people who were born in the United Kingdom were living in Australia
The Largest Migrant Community in Australia is from Britain

Stats About Australia’s Migrant Population

“Since 1945, over 7.5 million people have settled in Australia, helping to establish it as one of the most culturally diverse and multicultural countries in the developed world. Currently [Feb 2016], the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that 28.2% of Australia’s resident population [of 24 million] was born overseas—a level that is considered very high compared to most other OECD countries.” Source: Australian Parliament House

The World Atlas reports that “British continue to be the majority with 67.4% of the population. This is followed by other European ethnicities: Irish (8.7%), Italian (3.8%), and German (3.7%). Those of Chinese ethnicity represent 3.6% of the population and the Aboriginal, and Native Australians are now only 3%. Other ethnicities can also be found, though in smaller numbers: Indian (1.7%), Greek (1.6%), Dutch (1.2%), and Other (5.3%). The “Other” ethnicity includes individuals from many countries, particularly European and Asian.” Source: The World Atlas

“The 2016 Census shows that two thirds (67 per cent) of the Australian population were born in Australia. Nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians had either been born overseas (first generation Australian) or one or both parents had been born overseas (second generation Australian).” Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

“In Sydney, Melbourne and Perth more than 60 per cent of the population are first, or second-generation immigrants, with Sydney the fourth greatest immigration city in the world today.” Source: ABC

There were over 300 separately identified languages spoken in Australian homes
Migrants in Australia Speak Many Languages
Languages Spoken in Australia

According to the 2016 census, “In 2016, there were over 300 separately identified languages spoken in Australian homes. More than one-fifth (21 per cent) of Australians spoke a language other than English at home. After English, the next most common languages spoken at home were Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, and Vietnamese. Tasmania had the highest rate of people speaking only English at home with 88 per cent, while the Northern Territory had the lowest rate at 58 per cent.” Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 

Australian Migration Information on the Migration Ways Website

To learn about Australian permanent residence visas and citizenship.

To read the latest news on Australian immigration, visas and citizenship.

To learn more about the registered and experienced migration agents of Migration Ways.

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map of australia showing its states
Australia and its States
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