High Commission
Brunei Darussalam


Over One Quarter of Australians

Born Overseas

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in July 2010 reveal that 5.8 million Australian residents (one quarter of Australia's 22 million population as at 30 June 2009) were born overseas. This shows that Australia is a truly multicultural society.

People born in the United Kingdom remained the largest group with 1.2 million calling Australia home, followed by those from New Zealand (529,200 people), China (351,000), India (308,500) and Italy (219,300).

However, over the last 10 years those born in the UK declined from 6.1% of Australia's population in 1998 to 5.4% in 2008. Likewise the Italian-born declined from 1.3% to 1.0%. In contrast, increases were recorded for people born in New Zealand (from 1.8% to 2.3%), China (from 0.7% to 1.5%) and India (from 0.5% to 1.1%).

During 2007–08, travellers contributing to Australia's net overseas migration figure were born in over 200 countries and added 213,700 people to Australia's population. This represented 59% of the nation's population growth for the year.
In 2007–08, net overseas migration added to the populations of every state and territory. The highest figures were recorded in NSW (61,300 people) followed by Victoria (58,100) and Queensland (41,200). The lowest was in the Northern Territory adding 960 people to the population.

For more information on overseas, interstate and local migration see Migration, Australia 2007-08 (cat. no. 3412.0) available for free from the ABS website on www.abs.gov.au.


Net overseas migration is the net gain or loss of population through immigration to Australia and emigration from Australia.

The median age is the age at which half the population is older, and half is younger.