National identity can be defined by a number of attributes, from birthplace, to local customs, and even religion.
But for most Australians, another classification that defines what it means to be truly fair dinkum: language.
Despite the melting post that makes up our country, more than 94% of its citizens say speaking English is at least somewhat important to being truly Australian.
The findings come from a new report out by the Pew Research Center, titled “What It Takes to Truly Be ‘One of Us’,” which surveyed 14,514 people from 14 countries during April and May 2016.
It comes as a tide of people moves across the world, be they immigrants or refugees, despite increasing resistance from some.
Modern migration has also triggered intense debates over the benefits and the costs of growing diversity and the risk of open borders to national identity, as seen in the opposing opinions of Australia’s political leaders this week.
“Debates over what it means to be a ‘true’ American, Australian, German or other nationality have often highlighted the importance of a person being born in a particular country,” reads the report.
“But contrary to such rhetoric, a Pew Research Center survey finds that people generally place a relatively low premium on a person’s birthplace. Only 13% of Australians, 21% of Canadians, 32% of Americans and a median of 33% of Europeans believe that it is very important for a person to be born in their country in order to be considered a true national.”
Hungary, Greece and Japan were the exceptions, where at least, if not more than half of the public considered birthplace to be very important.
Sharing national customs and traditions is very important to Australians with roughly half the public across associating adoption of local culture to national identity.
Meanwhile only 13% of Australians believe that it is very important for a person to be a Christian in order to be truly Australian.
And roughly half think it is not important at all.
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