Shift In Migrant Mix

Shift in migrant mix

The Herald Sun
June 28, 2007 12:00am

AUSTRALIA'S international make-up is changing, with fewer Europeans calling Australia home and more Asians and Africans settling Down Under.

The census shows more than one in five Australians were born overseas, with a significant shift in the mix of migrants since the 1996 count.

People born in England continue to make up the largest proportion of immigrants, at 19.4 per cent, but their number is down 15,000 from 1996.

Italian and Greek-born residents are also more scarce.

New Zealand remains the second largest group of overseas-born residents, after growing by 98,000 to 389,500 people.

But the most significant growth is in the number of people from China.

Chinese are now the third largest group of overseas-born Australians.

The ranks of Australians born in China have swelled to 206,600 (4.7 per cent) from 111,000 (2.8 per cent) in 1996.

The census also showed growth in immigration from countries suffering war or unrest since 2001. Increases were recorded from Sudan (14,000), Zimbabwe (10,000), Afghanistan (7000) and Iraq (11,000).

Of the capital cities, Sydney has the highest proportion of overseas-born, almost one third of its population, while Hobart has the lowest at 12 per cent.