Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Almost a third of Aussies were born overseas. These are the countries they’re coming from

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May23,2024
Key Points
  • Some 18.5 million Australians were born here and 8.2 million were born overseas.
  • Three countries account for more than a third of Australia’s overseas-born population.
  • It is estimated 3.6 per cent of the global population resides outside of their country of birth.
Not since the 1800s have Australian records shown such a high proportion of foreign-born people residing here.
Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday show the proportion of Australia’s population born overseas reached 30.7 per cent in 2023 — up from 29.5 per cent in 2022.

The proportion of foreign-born Australians has not been this high since 1891, when such numbers were first recorded.

A graph showing Australia's estimated resident population proportion born overseas between 1893 and 2023

The amount of Australians who were born overseas has not been as high as it currently is for 130 years. Source: SBS News

While high levels of immigration could be seen in the 1890s, the proportion fell to just 10 per cent in 1947 due to reduced migration during World War One, World War Two and the Great Depression.

Since then, the proportion of overseas-born Australians has only risen — other than a slight interruption to that increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ABS confirmed its records were based on population counts taken at the time and Indigenous Australians were not routinely included in such counts until 1971.

How many people are there in Australia in total?

The latest figures recorded as of June 2023, show , made up of 18.5 million who were born in Australia and 8.2 million who were born elsewhere.

The nation’s overseas-born population increased by almost half a million people in 2023.

Which countries did most of the new Australians come from?

Three countries account for more than a third of Australia’s overseas-born population.

England, India, China and New Zealand were the most common countries of birth amongst foreign-born Australians in the latest data.

While those born in England continue to be the largest group born overseas, making up 962,000 people, that total number is a slight decrease from a little more than one million people in a decade prior.
The second largest group was those born in India, with a total of 846,000, a number that increased from 754,000 in 2022.
The Chinese-born population was only slightly lower than in previous years, coming in third with 656,000 people.
More New Zealanders than ever now reside in Australia.
Kiwis round out the top four foreign-born populations, accounting for 598,000 people.

A total of 170,000 Australians born in Australia were added to the country’s population. That number accounts for the number of births, minus deaths and net migration to other countries.

A closer look at overseas-born population trends

Indian, Chinese, Nepali and Filipino communities within Australia were the ones that grew the most between 2013 and 2023.

Of the countries with at least 1,000 people living in Australia, those from Latvia are among the oldest, with a median age of 80 years.

A graph showing Australia's population by country of birth.

The foreign-born communities within Australia that grew the most between 2013 and 2023. Source: SBS News

On the other end of the spectrum, the youngest median age of overseas-born Australians was Qataris, whose population has a median age of 15 years.

There are far more Ni-Vanuatu men in Australia than women, almost three times as many, while there are more than two times as many Thai women as Thai men in Australia.

How Australia compares from a global perspective

Globally, it’s estimated there were 280.6 million people (or 3.6 per cent of the global population) residing outside their country of birth as of 2020.
The United States had the most foreign-born people than any other nation.

More than 50 million people there were born outside of the country, making up 15.3 per cent of its total population.

Australia ranked ninth in terms of the number of foreign-born people living here, but that number made up a bigger proportion of the population, 29.9 per cent.

In comparison, 88.1 per cent of those who live in the United Arab Emirates were born outside the country, while 72.8 per cent of Kuwait’s population were foreign-born.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Almost a third of Aussies were born overseas. These are the countries they’re coming from”
  1. I find it fascinating to see the diversity in Australia’s population and the increasing number of overseas-born residents. It truly shows the country’s multiculturalism and global connections.

  2. As an immigrant myself, I believe this diversity is what makes Australia truly unique and vibrant. Embracing different cultures enriches our society and brings fresh perspectives to the table. It’s heartwarming to see our nation becoming more inclusive and diverse over the years.

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