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Media release –

2011 Census reveals one in four Australians is born overseas

21 June 2012 | CO/59

Australia’s multicultural landscape is as diverse as ever following the release of 2011 Census of Population and Housing data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

New Census data has revealed that almost a quarter (24.6 per cent) of Australia's population was born overseas and 43.1 per cent of people have at least one overseas-born parent.

The United Kingdom is the leading country of birth for the overseas-born population (20.8 per cent). It is followed by New Zealand (9.1 per cent), China (6.0 per cent) and India (5.6 per cent).

The number of people born in India has experienced the largest growth with an increase of 148,261 people since the 2006 Census, followed by China (112,379) and New Zealand (93,934).

The largest decreases were seen in the birth countries of Italy (13,729 people) and Greece (10,050).

2011 Census Executive Director, Andrew Henderson, said these results highlight the cultural diversity of Australia's population.

“Multicultural communities across the country worked very hard with the ABS during the Census to ensure we captured a full and accurate picture of Australia’s diversity,” Mr Henderson said.

“Multiculturalism plays a big part in who we are as a nation and we thank all community groups for their participation in the Census, and helping to create a brighter future for all Australians.”

Mr Henderson encouraged everyone to go online and look at the snapshot of Australia captured by the Census.

“Census data is available freely online and can be used for a variety of purposes across a wide range of sectors, and even by individuals,” Mr Henderson said.

“All Australians can go online and see what Census data says about their community, and the place they call home.”

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

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