3412.0 - Migration, Australia, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/07/2010   
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Contents >> Australia's Diverse Population >> Main countries of birth

Main countries of birth

At 30 June 2009, persons born in the United Kingdom continued to be the largest group of overseas-born residents, accounting for 5.4% of Australia's total population. Persons born in New Zealand accounted for 2.4% of Australia's total population, followed by persons born in China (1.6%), India (1.4%) and Italy (1.0%).

5.3 Countries of birth(a), Proportion of Australia's population
Graph: 5.3 COUNTRY OF BIRTH(a), Proportion of Australia's population

The proportion of the Australian population who had been born in the United Kingdom experienced a steady decline between 1999 and 2009 (6.0% in 1999 and 5.4% in 2009). This was also apparent for persons born in Italy (1.3% and 1.0%). Conversely, the proportions steadily increased for people born in New Zealand (from 1.9% to 2.4%), China (from 0.8% to 1.6%) and India (from 0.5% to 1.4%).

Between 1999 and 2009, persons born in Nepal had the highest rate of increase in Australia's population (of the top 50 countries of birth) with an average annual growth rate of 28.5%. However, this growth began from a small base of 2,000 persons at 30 June 1999. The second fastest increase over this period was in the number of persons born in Sudan (20.9% per year on average), followed by those from Bangladesh (13.4%), India (13.0%) and Zimbabwe (10.7%). Of the top 50 countries of birth, the number of persons born in Hungary decreased the most with an average annual decrease of 1.3%, closely followed by both Poland and Italy with an average annual decrease of 1.2% each. The next largest decreases were of persons born in Malta (0.7%) and Greece (0.6%).

Nepal recorded the greatest growth (44.3%) of the top 50 birthplaces between 2008 and 2009. High levels of growth were also recorded for migrants born in Japan (28.1%), the Republic of South Korea (19.8%), Taiwan (17.2%) and India (16.6%). Not surprisingly, the countries of birth that recorded the largest decrease in growth were Hungary (1.3%), Malta (1.2%), Greece (1.2%) and Poland (1.0%) which are all countries of origin for post-war migration.

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