1 of every 4 Australians is born overseas

Post date: Jul 21, 2012 12:18:33 AM

One in four Australians was born overseas before submitting a permanent residency application, latest Census reveals. The 2011 Census of Population and Housing data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that 24.6 per cent of Australians were not born in this country, while 43.1 per cent have at least one overseas-born parent.

The United Kingdom is the main country of birth outside Australia, accounting for 20.8 per cent of the population who were born overseas. New Zealand took second place with 9.1 per cent, followed by China with six per cent and India with 5.6 per cent. Since the last Census was conducted in 2006, India has seen the greatest growth in the number of people migrating to Australia, marking a rise of 148,261 people over the five-year period.

Asia has proved a major source for migration, as China saw 112,379 people relocate to Australia during this time.

The total of Filipinos arriving in Australia in 2010-2011 is 10,825. To date, the Philippines remains in the top ten countries of birth of Australians.

Meanwhile, Italy and Greece saw the largest decreases in migration activity.

Executive director of the 2011 Census Andrew Henderson said that Australia is evidently a multi-cultural destination for those in search of a better standard of living. He commented: "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. 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."

Migrants heading to Australia from any part of the world are to receive better access to settlement services under new plans unveiled by immigration minister Chris Bowen and minister for multicultural affairs Kate Lundy. They acknowledged that for some migrants, fitting into new communities presents a number of challenges, including finding employment, training opportunities or even rental accommodation.

Mr Bowen noted: "This is about getting people ready for work, getting kids into school, and making sure they have every opportunity to make a success of life in Australia, further enhancing the productivity of our migration program."

Senator Lundy added that migrants will be helped with building on their skills so they can become self-sufficient as soon as they arrive in Australia. Funding for a total of 97 projects will be made available from July 1, which the department hopes will encourage people from overseas to engage with community life.

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reference: Migration Alliance, Bayanihan News