Australia is regarded as a multicultural nation, and now we have the figures to prove it.
According to migration data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) earlier today, the proportion of Australians born overseas hit the highest level in over 120 years in 2015, rising to 6.7 million persons. That’s 28.2% of Australia’s estimated residential population.
The table below, supplied by the ABS, reveals the top 10 nations of birth for residents not born in Australia.
Though the UK, at 5.2% of Australia’s population, still retains top spot by some margin, it’s clear that mantle is likely to be challenged in the years ahead by the likes of New Zealand, China and India.
As a proportion of Australia’s total population, the percentage born in the UK has fallen steadily over the past decade while the proportion from New Zealand, China and India has steadily grown.
The chart below from the ABS reveals the recent trend.
“Over the last 10 years, the proportion of the Australian population who were born in the UK decreased from 5.6% in 2005 to 5.1% in 2015,” said the ABS. “Conversely, the proportions increased for people born in New Zealand (from 2.1% to 2.6%), China (from 1.1% to 2.0%) and India (from 0.7% to 1.8%).”
As for where new arrivals tend to settle upon arrival in Australia, it’s clear that most continue to head to the most populous states within Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.
According to the ABS, 66,100 migrants settled in New South Wales in the 12 months to June 2015, equating to 39.3% of all net overseas migration over this period. That was followed by Victoria (54,100), Queensland (19,100) and Western Australia (14,100). Tasmania, at just 100, had the lowest net increase in migration.
Overall net migration totalled 168,183 during this period, with 478,557 persons arriving and 310,374 departing.
The table below from the ABS breaks down net overseas migration by state, age and sex.