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This topic has been updated with 2016 Census data for all areas. What's this?

The three largest ancestries in Western Australia in 2016 were English, Australian and Irish.

Ancestry defines the cultural association and ethnic background of an individual going back three generations. Ancestry is a good measure of the total size of cultural groups in Western Australia regardless of where they were born or what language they speak.

Ancestry data, should be combined with data on Birthplace, Language Spoken at Home and Religion for a more complete picture of Western Australia's ethnic characteristics.

Please note that the "Australian Aboriginal" and "Torres Strait Islander" categories in this topic are not considered to be a reliable estimate of the indigenous peoples of Australia. For information on this group, please use the "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population" found on the Population page.

Please note: Due to changes in ABS rules around perturbation and additivity of data to protect the confidentiality of individuals in 2016, counts of ancestry groups and totals derived from them may differ slightly from those published by the ABS. For more information see notes on data confidentiality.

Derived from the Census question:

'What is the person's ancestry?'

Multi-response

Total population

Ancestry - Ranked by size
Western Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
AncestryNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2011 to 2016
English931,15037.633.6848,22537.933.7+82,925
Australian760,03230.731.2724,36332.333.0+35,669
Irish224,3729.110.2187,0728.49.7+37,300
Scottish214,1548.78.6186,5088.38.3+27,646
Italian122,9435.04.3111,9365.04.3+11,007
Chinese103,7444.25.275,9323.44.0+27,812
German73,0623.04.262,9982.84.2+10,064
Indian68,7962.82.640,2961.81.8+28,500
Dutch47,0391.91.545,3022.01.6+1,737
Filipino35,4561.41.320,4820.91.0+14,974
New Zealander31,8001.30.927,6321.20.9+4,168
South African28,9841.20.525,6861.10.5+3,298
Maori27,4511.10.623,0391.00.6+4,412
Welsh22,0910.90.618,5880.80.6+3,503
Inadequately Described21,8260.90.613,4270.60.4+8,399
Vietnamese21,6870.91.315,9570.71.0+5,730
Polish20,7310.80.818,6890.80.8+2,042
Australian Aboriginal20,7180.80.619,3770.90.6+1,341
Croatian18,5730.80.617,5000.80.6+1,073
French15,5990.60.611,8580.50.5+3,741
Greek15,1070.61.713,8210.61.8+1,286
Burmese peoples14,2310.60.210,8850.50.1+3,346
Spanish11,3890.50.57,7390.30.4+3,650
Portuguese11,0400.40.38,5740.40.2+2,466
Indonesian10,9900.40.38,1130.40.2+2,877
Malay10,7530.40.28,2770.40.2+2,476
Serbian10,5940.40.410,0310.40.5+563
Macedonian9,8530.40.49,3250.40.4+528
Sinhalese9,7190.40.66,4580.30.4+3,261
Thai8,7380.40.36,0280.30.2+2,710
Korean8,3300.30.54,6880.20.4+3,642
American7,9130.30.38,1540.40.3-241
Iranian7,0470.30.34,2660.20.2+2,781
Japanese6,9890.30.35,2750.20.2+1,714
Other Indian subcontinent6,5210.30.22,5660.10.1+3,955
Other Southern and East African6,3110.30.14,9550.20.1+1,356
Russian6,0000.20.44,5950.20.3+1,405
Danish5,5380.20.34,8990.20.3+639
Zimbabwean5,4600.20.13,9910.20.1+1,469
Afghan5,2850.20.23,2550.10.1+2,030
Pakistani5,2460.20.32,3730.10.2+2,873
Hungarian4,9890.20.34,4590.20.3+530
Canadian4,8860.20.24,6710.20.2+215
Mauritian4,8540.20.14,2080.20.1+646
Central and West African4,7340.20.12,5290.10.1+2,205
Maltese4,5540.20.84,2160.20.8+338
Sudanese4,4050.20.13,5520.20.1+853
Swiss4,0920.20.13,7470.20.1+345
Swedish3,9820.20.23,3470.10.2+635
Anglo-Indian3,9140.20.14,4320.20.1-518
Austrian3,7980.20.23,4750.20.2+323
Arab not further described3,7000.10.22,7910.10.1+909
Ukrainian3,6880.10.22,9190.10.2+769
Punjabi3,4100.10.18790.00.1+2,531
Lebanese3,1420.11.02,9450.10.9+197
Norwegian3,0990.10.12,7520.10.1+347
Nepalese3,0060.10.31,0000.00.1+2,006
Romanian2,9690.10.12,3850.10.1+584
Bengali2,9580.10.21,4930.10.1+1,465
Somali2,8450.10.11,8730.10.0+972
Iraqi2,8310.10.22,0640.10.1+767
Samoan2,7520.10.31,6770.10.3+1,075
Egyptian2,6910.10.21,9510.10.2+740
Brazilian2,6880.10.11,4080.10.1+1,280
Bosnian2,6850.10.12,1900.10.1+495
Other Central Asian2,6010.10.18730.00.1+1,728
Singaporean2,5360.10.01,8790.10.0+657
Turkish2,4270.10.31,8370.10.3+590
Khmer (Cambodian)2,2380.10.21,5800.10.2+658
Other British2,1940.10.11,7090.10.0+485
Tamil2,1230.10.11,0430.00.1+1,080
Chilean2,1040.10.11,8690.10.1+235
Czech2,0800.10.11,7310.10.1+349
Ethiopian2,0030.10.11,2850.10.0+718
Cook Islander1,9320.10.11,1970.10.1+735
Latvian1,8800.10.11,8210.10.1+59
Taiwanese1,8440.10.14420.00.0+1,402
Finnish1,6950.10.11,4930.10.1+202
Belgian1,6680.10.11,3520.10.0+316
Colombian1,5680.10.17740.00.0+794
Other Middle-Eastern peoples1,5450.10.11,1040.00.1+441
Fijian1,5250.10.21,0110.00.2+514
Caribbean Islander1,4460.10.01,1550.10.0+291
Other South-East Asian1,4330.10.01,2780.10.0+155
Lithuanian1,4100.10.11,0890.00.1+321
Afrikaner1,3870.10.01,5360.10.0-149
Other South American1,3720.10.19980.00.1+374
Other Oceanian (inc. Melanesia & Micronesia)1,3560.10.19600.00.1+396
Other Arab peoples1,3310.10.19430.00.0+388
Jewish1,2670.10.11,4450.10.1-178
Other North-Western European1,2280.00.08850.00.0+343
Other Southern/South East European1,2090.00.000.00.0+1,209
Papua New Guinean1,1900.00.19170.00.1+273
Other Polynesian1,1330.00.16530.00.0+480
Tongan1,1090.00.16700.00.1+439
Eritrean1,0620.00.07260.00.0+336
Other North American1,0600.00.07790.00.0+281
Salvadoran1,0540.00.09430.00.0+111
Estonian1,0270.00.06830.00.0+344
Slovene9850.00.18650.00.1+120
Palestinian9650.00.16440.00.0+321
Kurdish9580.00.06680.00.0+290
Albanian9230.00.17050.00.1+218
Other Eastern European8780.00.15410.00.0+337
Slovak8250.00.07440.00.0+81
Seychellois7610.00.07800.00.0-19
Bulgarian7250.00.06180.00.0+107
Argentinian7180.00.15530.00.0+165
Peruvian6770.00.05540.00.0+123
Mexican6510.00.04760.00.0+175
Syrian6450.00.13420.00.1+303
Cypriot6440.00.14600.00.1+184
Timorese6370.00.05000.00.0+137
Armenian6050.00.14590.00.1+146
Native American (Indian)5610.00.04230.00.0+138
Torres Strait Islander4940.00.14200.00.1+74
Lao4160.00.13110.00.1+105
Jordanian3880.00.03020.00.0+86
Other Northern Asian3400.00.02090.00.0+131
Australian South Sea Islander2590.00.0940.00.0+165
Assyrian/Chaldean2430.00.21110.00.1+132
Other Central American2410.00.01780.00.0+63
Uruguayan1490.00.01380.00.0+11
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Excludes ancestries with fewer than 20 responses, or less than 0.1% of the total population.

Ancestry - Totals
Western Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
Ancestry totalsNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2011 to 2016
Not stated188,3027.67.0170,2567.66.9+18,046

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2011 and 2016. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Ancestry, 2016
Ancestry, 2016 English, Australia: 33.6% Australian, Australia: 31.2% Irish, Australia: 10.2% Scottish, Australia: 8.6% Italian, Australia: 4.3% Chinese, Australia: 5.2% German, Australia: 4.2% Indian, Australia: 2.6% Dutch, Australia: 1.5% Filipino, Australia: 1.3% English, Western Australia: 37.6% Australian, Western Australia: 30.7% Irish, Western Australia: 9.1% Scottish, Western Australia: 8.7% Italian, Western Australia: 5.0% Chinese, Western Australia: 4.2% German, Western Australia: 3.0% Indian, Western Australia: 2.8% Dutch, Western Australia: 1.9% Filipino, Western Australia: 1.4%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in ancestry, 2011 to 2016
Change in ancestry, 2011 to 2016 English, Western Australia: +82,925 Australian, Western Australia: +35,669 Irish, Western Australia: +37,300 Scottish, Western Australia: +27,646 Italian, Western Australia: +11,007 Chinese, Western Australia: +27,812 German, Western Australia: +10,064 Indian, Western Australia: +28,500 Dutch, Western Australia: +1,737 Filipino, Western Australia: +14,974
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the ancestry responses of the population in Western Australia in 2016 shows that the top five ancestries nominated were:

  • English (931,150 people or 37.6%)
  • Australian (760,032 people or 30.7%)
  • Irish (224,372 people or 9.1%)
  • Scottish (214,154 people or 8.7%)
  • Italian (122,943 people or 5.0%)

In combination these five ancestries account for 2,252,651 responses in total, or 91.04% of all responses.

The major differences between the ancestries of the population in Western Australia and Australia were:

  • A larger percentage of people with English ancestry (37.6% compared to 33.6%)
  • A smaller percentage of people with German ancestry (3.0% compared to 4.2%)
  • A smaller percentage of people with Irish ancestry (9.1% compared to 10.2%)
  • A smaller percentage of people with Greek ancestry (0.6% compared to 1.7%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the reported ancestries of the population in this area between 2011 and 2016 were:

  • English (+82,925 persons)
  • Irish (+37,300 persons)
  • Australian (+35,669 persons)
  • Indian (+28,500 persons)

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