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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Population

COUNTRY OF BIRTH

Australia’s population has increased each year since the end of World War II due to a combination of both high post-war fertility and high levels of migration. In 1901, 23% of Australia’s population was born overseas. By 1947, the overseas-born population proportion had declined to 10%. The creation of a national government immigration portfolio in 1945 accompanied a gradual increase in overseas-born Australians reaching a proportion of 22% by 1977. During the 1980s, 1990s and the early 2000s, the overseas-born population fluctuated between 21% and 23%. At 30 June 2010, the number of overseas-born Australians was 6.0 million, representing just over one-quarter (27%) of the total population (graph 7.28). In 2010, the sex ratio of the overseas-born population was the same as the Australian-born population (99 males per 100 females). The median age of all Australian residents born overseas was 44.7 years in 2010, compared with 33.4 years for those born in Australia.

Graph 7.28 AUSTRALIA'S POPULATION BORN OVERSEAS(a)(b)



Since the 1980s, the patterns of immigration to Australia have changed and the diversity of the population has increased. Of the overseas-born population, the United Kingdom remains the largest source country representing 20% of all Australian migrants in 2010, despite having fallen from 27% in 1996. Some of the older migrant streams, such as people born in Italy, have been declining in absolute numbers as their populations age and the number of deaths exceed net gains from more recent migration.

The New Zealand-born population living in Australia was the second largest overseas-born group making up 9% of the overseas-born population in 2010 compared with 7% in 1996. Some other migrant streams that have increased their proportion over recent decades include those born in China, India, the Philippines, South Africa and Malaysia (table 7.29). For example, the China-born population trebled from 121,200 people in 1996 to 379,800 people in 2010 (making up 6% of the overseas-born population). The India-born population increased its share from 2% in 1996 (84,800 people) to 6% in 2010 (340,600 people).


7.29 TOP 10 COUNTRIES OF BIRTH(a)

1954(b)
1971(b)
1996(c)
2001(c)
2006(c)
2010(c)
2010
sex
ratio(d)
2010
median
age
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
ratio
years

United Kingdom(e)
664.2
1 088.2
1 164.1
1 126.9
1 141.0
1 192.9
103.4
53.5
New Zealand
43.4
80.5
315.1
394.1
445.1
544.2
105.5
39.2
China (excludes SARs and Taiwan)
10.3
17.6
121.2
157.0
259.2
379.8
84.2
33.5
India
12.0
29.2
84.8
103.6
180.1
340.6
140.8
30.3
Italy
119.9
289.5
259.1
238.5
227.3
216.3
106.8
67.5
Vietnam
na
na
164.2
169.5
185.5
210.8
88.3
42.1
Philippines
0.2
2.6
102.7
112.2
140.0
177.4
58.9
39.5
South Africa
6.0
12.7
61.8
87.0
120.3
155.7
99.5
38.6
Malaysia
2.3
14.9
83.0
87.2
107.1
135.6
87.0
36.9
Germany
65.4
110.8
120.8
117.5
124.4
128.6
92.2
61.3
Total overseas-born
1 286.5
2 579.3
4 258.6
4 482.1
5 090.1
5 994.0
98.8
44.7
Australian-born
7 700.1
10 176.3
14 052.1
14 931.2
15 607.8
16 334.9
99.3
33.4
Total population(f)
8 986.5
12 755.6
18 310.7
19 413.2
20 697.9
22 328.9
99.2
36.9

na not available
(a) Top 10 countries of birth based on population at 30 June 2010.
(b) Census counts.
(c) Estimated resident population at 30 June.
(d) Males per 100 females.
(e) Includes Ireland in 1954 and 1971.
(f) Includes country of birth ‘Not stated’ and ‘At sea’.
Source: Migration, Australia (3412.0); data from Census of Population and Housing.


COUNTRY OF BIRTH BY STATE AND TERRITORY

Australia's estimated resident population by country of birth at the state and territory level is only available for census years. Map 7.30 shows the total percentage of overseas-born residents at 30 June 2006 in each of the states and territories. At 30 June 2006, Western Australia recorded the highest proportion of overseas-born residents (30%) in their population, followed by New South Wales (27%) and Victoria (26%). Tasmania had the lowest proportion of overseas-born residents (11%), well below the Australian level of 25% recorded in 2006.


7.30 Percent of people born overseas, australia–2006

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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