AustraliaCommunity profile
census-message-logo

2016 Census data has been released and we are busy processing it to update this website. View our latest releases here.

Skip to content
census-message-logo

This topic has been updated with 2016 Census data for the LGA or other primary area only. What's this?

In 2016, 18% 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)20162011Change
BirthplaceNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2011 to 2016
United Kingdom1,087,7494.65.01,098,6385.15.6-10,889
New Zealand518,4662.22.3483,3762.22.3+35,090
China509,5632.23.1318,9651.52.1+190,598
India455,3881.92.7295,3551.41.9+160,033
Philippines232,3971.01.2171,2230.81.0+61,174
Vietnam219,3490.91.4185,0320.91.3+34,317
Italy174,0510.71.0185,4020.91.1-11,351
South Africa162,4500.70.8145,6700.70.8+16,780
Malaysia138,3710.60.8115,7900.50.8+22,581
Sri Lanka109,8410.50.786,4110.40.6+23,430
Germany102,5890.40.4108,0010.50.5-5,412
South Korea98,7800.40.674,5370.30.5+24,243
Greece93,7370.40.699,9370.50.7-6,200
Hong Kong86,8810.40.574,9550.30.5+11,926
United States of America86,1230.40.477,0050.40.4+9,118
Lebanon78,6500.30.576,4490.40.5+2,201
Ireland74,8940.30.467,3150.30.4+7,579
Indonesia73,2000.30.463,1430.30.4+10,057
Netherlands70,1750.30.376,0480.40.3-5,873
Iraq67,3550.30.448,0740.20.3+19,281
Thailand66,2290.30.345,4510.20.3+20,778
Pakistan61,9110.30.430,1940.10.2+31,717
Fiji61,4800.30.456,9800.30.4+4,500
Iran58,1180.20.334,1200.20.2+23,998
Singapore54,9330.20.348,5970.20.3+6,336
Nepal54,7570.20.324,6350.10.2+30,122
Taiwan46,8260.20.328,6250.10.2+18,201
Afghanistan46,8040.20.328,4870.10.2+18,317
Poland45,3600.20.348,6740.20.3-3,314
Serbia / Montenegro (fmr Yugoslavia)44,7540.20.246,5180.20.3-1,764
Croatia43,6810.20.248,8280.20.3-5,147
Canada43,0590.20.238,8700.20.2+4,189
Japan42,4240.20.235,3690.20.2+7,055
Bangladesh41,2380.20.227,8060.10.2+13,432
Egypt39,7720.20.236,5300.20.2+3,242
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia38,9890.20.240,2210.20.2-1,232
Malta37,6130.20.241,2730.20.3-3,660
Zimbabwe34,7950.10.230,2510.10.2+4,544
Cambodia33,1510.10.228,3260.10.2+4,825
Burma (Myanmar)32,6660.10.221,7570.10.1+10,909
Turkey32,1820.10.232,8440.20.2-662
France31,1160.10.224,6720.10.1+6,444
Papua New Guinea28,8120.10.126,7840.10.1+2,028
Brazil27,6250.10.114,5100.10.1+13,115
Chile26,0860.10.124,9350.10.2+1,151
Sudan24,7240.10.122,8560.10.1+1,868
Mauritius24,3210.10.123,2810.10.2+1,040
Samoa24,0260.10.119,0950.10.1+4,931
Bosnia and Herzegovina23,9560.10.125,6780.10.2-1,722
Show me more!

Excludes countries with fewer than 20 people, or less than 0.1% of the total population.

Birthplace - Summary
Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
BirthplaceNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2011 to 2016
Total overseas born6,150,04426.332.85,279,41824.630.7+870,626
Non-English speaking backgrounds4,177,30317.923.73,368,54415.721.0+808,759
Main English speaking countries1,972,7418.49.11,910,8748.99.7+61,867
Australia15,614,83366.760.815,020,07869.863.8+594,755
Not stated1,636,9747.06.31,205,1935.65.5+431,781

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

Birthplace, 2016
Birthplace, 2016 United Kingdom, Greater Capital Cities: 5.0% New Zealand, Greater Capital Cities: 2.3% China, Greater Capital Cities: 3.1% India, Greater Capital Cities: 2.7% Philippines, Greater Capital Cities: 1.2% Vietnam, Greater Capital Cities: 1.4% Italy, Greater Capital Cities: 1.0% South Africa, Greater Capital Cities: 0.8% Malaysia, Greater Capital Cities: 0.8% Sri Lanka, Greater Capital Cities: 0.7% United Kingdom, Australia: 4.6% New Zealand, Australia: 2.2% China, Australia: 2.2% India, Australia: 1.9% Philippines, Australia: 1.0% Vietnam, Australia: 0.9% Italy, Australia: 0.7% South Africa, Australia: 0.7% Malaysia, Australia: 0.6% Sri Lanka, Australia: 0.5%
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 birthplace, 2011 to 2016
Change in birthplace, 2011 to 2016 United Kingdom, Australia: -10,889 New Zealand, Australia: +35,090 China, Australia: +190,598 India, Australia: +160,033 Philippines, Australia: +61,174 Vietnam, Australia: +34,317 Italy, Australia: -11,351 South Africa, Australia: +16,780 Malaysia, Australia: +22,581 Sri Lanka, Australia: +23,430
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 country of birth of the population in Australia in 2016 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, 26.3% of the population was born overseas, and 17.9% were from a non-English speaking background, compared with 32.8% and 23.7% respectively for Greater Capital Cities.

The largest non-English speaking country of birth in Australia was China, where 2.2% of the population, or 509,563 people, were born.

There were no major differences between Australia and Greater Capital Cities in 2016.

Emerging groups

Between 2011 and 2016, the number of people born overseas increased by 870,626 or 16.5%, and the number of people from a non-English speaking background increased by 808,759 or 24.0%.

The largest changes in birthplace countries of the population in this area between 2011 and 2016 were for those born in:

  • China (+190,598 persons)
  • India (+160,033 persons)
  • Philippines (+61,174 persons)
  • New Zealand (+35,090 persons)

To continue building your demographic story go to...

v17.07.21-1.0.0