British Expats Account for 5% of Aussie Population

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More than 1 million British expats account for one in every 20 Australians and make up 5% of the nation’s population.

The latest Australian census figures show 1.1 million British expats outnumber the next largest segment – 483,000 New Zealanders – by more than double.

The census also throws up some information about migration trends to Australia.

  • Around half of all expats live in either Sydney or Melbourne

  • Sydney has an expat population of 1.5 million, Melbourne of 1.2 million, followed by Perth, with 568,000

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  • Sydney (39%), Perth (37%) and Melbourne (35%) were the only three cities with more than a third of the population born overseas – the average for the rest of the country is around 26% but drops to 15% for the Tasmanian capital of Hobart

  • Besides Britain and New Zealand, Australia is also popular with Chinese expats (319,000), Indians (295,000), while those from Italy and Vietnam tie for third place (185,000)

  • Expats from those top six countries account for 49% of all immigrants

  • Most expats move to Australia to stay, spending an average 20 years in their new homeland

The census does demonstrate migration trends to Australia have changed over the years.

Where expats live

Many European expats from Italy, Germany and The Netherlands have lived in Australia for 40 years or more, while Chinese expats have settled for an average eight years and Indians really started moving in numbers only five years ago.

Native Australians are less likely to live in a city – with two-thirds settling in built-up areas, compared with 85% of expats who prefer urban life.

Expats most likely to live in cities are from Somalia (98%), China, Vietnam, Lebanon, Macedonia and Macau (All 97%), Greece (95%) and India (93%).

Favourite suburbs

Expats from New Zealand (78%), the UK (74%) Germany (72%) and The Netherlands (64%), are less likely to live in major cities or towns, but are still more likely to enjoy urban life than native Australians.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Assistant Director of Social and Progress Reporting Guinevere Hunt said: “Suburbs with the highest proportion of expats include Haymarket in Sydney, Clayton in Melbourne, Robertson in Brisbane, Regency Park in Adelaide, and Northbridge in Perth.

“Suburbs near universities also have high proportions of migrants.

“In Sydney, 40% of those living in Harris Park were born in India, and Hurstville had the highest proportion of people born in China. In Melbourne, 25% of people in Sunshine North were born in Vietnam, and in Perth, 40% residing in Jindalee were born in the UK.”

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