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In 2011, 16% of people in Australia, came from countries where English was not their first language.

Country of Birth data identifies where people were born and is indicative of the level of cultural diversity in Australia. The mix of Country of Birth groups is also indicative of historical settlement patterns, as source countries for Australia's immigration program have varied significantly over time.

To get a more complete picture of cultural and ethnic characteristics, Australia's Country of Birth data should be viewed together with Ancestry, Language Spoken at Home and Religion.

Derived from the Census question:

'In which country was the person born?'

Total population

Birthplace - Ranked by size
Australia - Overseas born (Usual residence)20112006Change
BirthplaceNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
United Kingdom1,098,6385.15.61,035,0305.25.8+63,608
New Zealand483,3762.22.3387,6922.02.1+95,684
China318,9651.52.1206,2401.01.5+112,725
India295,3551.41.9146,7590.71.1+148,596
Italy185,4020.91.1198,9591.01.3-13,557
Vietnam185,0320.91.3159,6350.81.2+25,397
Philippines171,2230.81.0120,3690.60.8+50,854
South Africa145,6700.70.8103,8760.50.7+41,794
Malaysia115,7900.50.892,1860.50.7+23,604
Germany108,0010.50.5106,1700.50.6+1,831
Greece99,9370.50.7109,9130.60.8-9,976
Sri Lanka86,4110.40.662,1770.30.5+24,234
United States of America77,0050.40.461,4000.30.3+15,605
Lebanon76,4490.40.574,7560.40.6+1,693
Netherlands76,0480.40.378,6910.40.4-2,643
Hong Kong74,9550.30.571,7230.40.5+3,232
South Korea74,5370.30.552,6490.30.4+21,888
Ireland67,3150.30.450,0490.30.3+17,266
Indonesia63,1430.30.450,8850.30.4+12,258
Fiji56,9800.30.448,0730.20.3+8,907
Croatia48,8280.20.350,9450.30.3-2,117
Poland48,6740.20.352,1940.30.3-3,520
Singapore48,5970.20.339,9040.20.3+8,693
Iraq48,0740.20.332,4800.20.2+15,594
Serbia / Montenegro (fmr Yugoslavia)46,5180.20.351,4790.30.3-4,961
Thailand45,4510.20.330,4840.20.2+14,967
Malta41,2730.20.343,6680.20.3-2,395
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia40,2210.20.240,6450.20.3-424
Canada38,8700.20.231,4580.20.2+7,412
Egypt36,5300.20.233,4540.20.2+3,076
Japan35,3690.20.230,6660.20.2+4,703
Iran34,1200.20.222,5100.10.2+11,610
Turkey32,8440.20.230,4380.20.2+2,406
Zimbabwe30,2510.10.220,1020.10.1+10,149
Pakistan30,1940.10.216,9690.10.1+13,225
Taiwan28,6250.10.224,3450.10.2+4,280
Afghanistan28,4870.10.216,7120.10.1+11,775
Cambodia28,3260.10.224,5080.10.2+3,818
Bangladesh27,8060.10.216,0780.10.1+11,728
Papua New Guinea26,7840.10.123,9510.10.1+2,833
Bosnia and Herzegovina25,6780.10.224,6140.10.2+1,064
Chile24,9350.10.223,2730.10.2+1,662
France24,6720.10.119,1080.10.1+5,564
Nepal24,6350.10.24,5600.00.0+20,075
Mauritius23,2810.10.218,1430.10.1+5,138
Sudan22,8560.10.119,0070.10.1+3,849
Burma (Myanmar)21,7570.10.112,3540.10.1+9,403
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Excludes countries with fewer than 20 people, or less than 0.1% of the total population.

Birthplace - Summary
Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20112006Change
BirthplaceNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
Total overseas born5,279,41824.630.74,395,38422.228.0+884,034
Non-English speaking backgrounds3,368,54415.721.02,725,87913.818.7+642,665
Main English speaking countries1,910,8748.99.71,669,5058.49.3+241,369
Australia15,020,07869.863.814,046,07070.964.9+974,008
Not stated1,205,1935.65.51,371,9056.97.1-166,712

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Birthplace, 2011
Birthplace, 2011 United Kingdom, Greater Capital Cities: 5.6% New Zealand, Greater Capital Cities: 2.3% China, Greater Capital Cities: 2.1% India, Greater Capital Cities: 1.9% Italy, Greater Capital Cities: 1.1% Vietnam, Greater Capital Cities: 1.3% Philippines, Greater Capital Cities: 1.0% South Africa, Greater Capital Cities: 0.8% Malaysia, Greater Capital Cities: 0.8% Germany, Greater Capital Cities: 0.5% United Kingdom, Australia: 5.1% New Zealand, Australia: 2.2% China, Australia: 1.5% India, Australia: 1.4% Italy, Australia: 0.9% Vietnam, Australia: 0.9% Philippines, Australia: 0.8% South Africa, Australia: 0.7% Malaysia, Australia: 0.5% Germany, Australia: 0.5%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in birthplace, 2006 to 2011
Change in birthplace, 2006 to 2011 United Kingdom, Australia: +63,608 New Zealand, Australia: +95,684 China, Australia: +112,725 India, Australia: +148,596 Italy, Australia: -13,557 Vietnam, Australia: +25,397 Philippines, Australia: +50,854 South Africa, Australia: +41,794 Malaysia, Australia: +23,604 Germany, Australia: +1,831
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2006 and 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the country of birth of the population in Australia in 2011 compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a smaller proportion of people born overseas, as well as a smaller proportion of people from a non-English speaking background.

Overall, 24.6% of the population was born overseas, and 15.7% were from a non-English speaking background, compared with 30.7% and 21.0% respectively for Greater Capital Cities.

The largest non-English speaking country of birth in Australia was China, where 1.5% of the population, or 318,965 people, were born.

There were no major differences between Australia and Greater Capital Cities in 2011.

Emerging groups

Between 2006 and 2011, the number of people born overseas increased by 884,034 or 20.1%, and the number of people from a non-English speaking background increased by 642,665 or 23.6%.

The largest changes in birthplace countries of the population in this area between 2006 and 2011 were for those born in:

  • India (+148,596 persons)
  • China (+112,725 persons)
  • New Zealand (+95,684 persons)
  • United Kingdom (+63,608 persons)

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