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Media release –

2011 Census data shows more than 300 ancestries reported in Australia

21 June 2012 | CO/62

Australians have reported identifying with more than 300 ancestries, according to the latest Census of Population and Housing data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows.

The most commonly reported ancestries were English (33.7 per cent) and Australian (33 per cent). A further six of the leading 10 ancestries reflected the European heritage in Australia – Irish (9.7 per cent), Scottish (8.3 per cent), Italian (4.3 per cent), German (4.2 per cent), Greek (1.8 per cent) and Dutch (1.6 per cent). Other most common ancestries in the top 10 were Chinese (4.0 per cent) and Indian (1.8 per cent).

2011 Census Executive Director, Andrew Henderson, said Census data gives us an insight into the cultural background of both the Australian-born and overseas-born populations.

“Ancestry is not necessarily related to a person's place of birth but is an indication of the cultural group that they most closely identify with,” Mr Henderson said.

“The 2011 Census asked respondents to provide a maximum of two ancestries with which they most closely identify. Many people may have considered the origins of their parents and grandparents.”

Data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing is now available on the ABS website. Visit

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