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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004   
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Contents >> Population >> Country of birth

In 1901, 23% of Australia's population was overseas-born. Since the end of World War II, Australia has experienced large yearly increases in population due to a combination of high fertility and high levels of migration. In 1947 the proportion of the population born overseas was 10%, and by 1991, this proportion had increased to 24% (table 5.37). In 2001 the number of overseas-born Australians was 4.5 million, or 23% of the total population. Over the past 100 years, the range of countries of birth has increased substantially.

For the last few decades, the Italian, Greek and Dutch-born populations in Australia have been declining. The major migration flows from these countries occurred immediately after World War II, and there has been relatively little migration more recently. As these populations have moved into the older age groups, they have experienced high numbers of deaths. Furthermore, small numbers of people are returning to their countries of birth in their retirement.

5.37 MAIN COUNTRIES OF BIRTH OF THE POPULATION

1901(a)
1947(a)
1954(a)
1961(a)
1971(a)
1981(a)
1991(b)
2001(b)
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

United Kingdom and Ireland
679.6
546.2
664.2
755.4
1,081.3
1,120.9
1,244.3
1,182.8
New Zealand
25.8
43.6
43.4
47.0
74.1
160.7
286.4
394.1
Italy
5.7
33.6
119.9
228.3
288.3
275.0
272.0
238.5
Vietnam
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
40.7
124.8
169.5
China (excl. SARs & Taiwan Prov.)
29.9
6.4
10.3
14.5
17.1
25.2
84.6
157.0
Greece
0.9
12.3
25.9
77.3
159.0
145.8
147.4
132.5
Germany
38.4
14.6
65.4
109.3
110.0
109.3
120.4
117.5
Philippines
0.7
0.1
0.2
0.4
2.3
14.8
79.1
112.2
India
7.6
(c)8.2
12.0
14.2
28.7
41.0
66.2
103.6
Netherlands
0.6
2.2
52.0
102.1
98.6
95.1
100.9
91.2
Malaysia
n.a.
1.0
2.3
5.8
14.4
30.5
79.9
87.2
South Africa
0.5
5.9
6.0
7.9
12.2
26.5
55.8
86.9
Lebanon
n.a.
(d)1.9
3.9
7.3
23.9
49.4
78.5
80.0
Hong Kong (SAR of China)
0.2
0.8
1.6
3.5
5.4
15.3
62.4
75.2
Poland
n.a.
6.6
56.6
60.0
59.5
59.0
69.5
67.5
Yugoslavia
n.a.
5.9
22.9
49.8
128.2
148.6
(e)168.0
(e)64.0
United States of America
7.4
6.2
8.3
10.8
26.8
28.9
49.5
59.0
Sri Lanka
0.6
n.a.
2.0
3.4
9.0
16.8
40.4
58.6
Total overseas-born
865.5
744.2
1,286.5
1,778.8
2,546.4
3,128.1
3,965.3
4,482.1
Australia
2,908.3
6,835.2
7,700.1
8,729.4
10,173.1
11,388.8
13,318.8
14,931.2
Total population(f)
3,773.8
7,579.4
8,986.5
10,508.2
12,719.5
14,516.9
17,284.0
19,413.2

(a) Census counts.
(b) Estimated resident population at 30 June.
(c) Includes British India and Ceylon.
(d) Includes Syria and Lebanon.
(e) Former Yugoslav republics.
(f) Includes country of birth ‘Not stated’ and ‘At sea’.
Source: Migration, Australia (3412.0); ABS data available on request, Estimated Resident Population.

The 2001 census showed that 25% of persons born in Australia had at least one overseas-born parent; that is, they were second generation Australians (table 5.38). Of Australian-born children with at least one overseas born parent 44% had both parents born overseas, 34% had their father born overseas and 22% their mother born overseas. The variety and size of second generation populations reflect past migration and intermarriage patterns.


5.38 BIRTHPLACE OF PARENTS OF AUSTRALIAN BORN PEOPLE - 2001

no.
%

Both parents born in Australia
9,797,613
71.9
One or both parents born overseas
3,427,890
25.1
Not stated
403,978
3.0
Total
13,629,481
100.0

Source: ABS data available on request, 2001 Census of Population and Housing.


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