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Half of Aussies are foreigners


Guest The Pom Queen

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Guest The Pom Queen

Nearly half of Australians alive today were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was, according to the last Census in 2011.

 

 

Yep, Australia is not the homogenous nation - of thongs, singlets and beer cans - we sometimes imagine ourselves to be.

 

 

And if we are, it's an adopted culture for most of us.

 

 

It seems we often need reminding that Australia is, in fact, one of the world's biggest - and most successful - melting pots of cultures.

 

 

In the United States, where Lady Liberty has been welcoming immigrants for centuries, only 13 per cent of Americans alive today were born overseas - half our percentage.

 

 

Even in the European Union, where proximity makes close bedfellows of different cultures, just 9 per cent of residents were born in foreign countries, from either within or outside the EU.

 

But, by and large, Australia today is a model multiculturalism, having successfully integrated generation after generation of people from the most far flung parts of the world.

 

 

In the early days of settlement, migrants came mostly from the UK and Europe.

 

 

But our citizenship ceremonies have become much more diverse of late.

 

 

In the decade from 2001 to 2011, the proportion of our overseas-born population who originate from Europe shrank from 52 per cent to just 40 per cent.

 

 

Meanwhile the proportion of foreign-born Australians who were born in Asia increased from 24 per cent to 33 per cent.

 

 

Between 2006 and 2011, the biggest growth came from India, with the number of Indian-born people living in Australian increasing by 148,261 people.

 

 

This was followed by China - with 112,379 more Chinese-born living in Australia - and New Zealand - an additional 93,934 Kiwis turned Aussies.

 

 

The proportion of migrants coming from countries outside of Europe and Asian also increased.

 

 

Regular waves of immigration are helping to keep us more youthful as a nation.

 

 

Australia's median age - if you lined everyone up in a row and selected the middle person - is 37 years.

 

 

But the median age of recent migrants - those who arrived between 2007 and the last census - was just 27.

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"Nearly half of Australians alive today were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was, according to the last Census in 2011."

 

Too lazy to go read the source story, Kate, but how do they define Australians? I filled in a census form but as am still just a PR until later this year (hopefully) then I am not a citizen so wondered whether that suggests the number of "foreigners" is even higher than the nearly half number or whether anyone legitimately in the country at the time is classed as Australian.

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"Nearly half of Australians alive today were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was, according to the last Census in 2011."

 

Too lazy to go read the source story, Kate, but how do they define Australians? I filled in a census form but as am still just a PR until later this year (hopefully) then I am not a citizen so wondered whether that suggests the number of "foreigners" is even higher than the nearly half number or whether anyone legitimately in the country at the time is classed as Australian.

 

I suspect...in fact, I would be 99% sure...that they mean anyone who was resident in Australia at the 2011 census and completed the census form. I doubt that they were concerned about the legal definition of an "Australian".

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