New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show Australian residents are increasingly being born overseas, with 28 per cent of the population born in a country other than Australia.
“Australia has traditionally had a high proportion of migrants, but we’ve now hit a peak not seen since the late 1800s,” the ABS’s Beidar Cho said.
About 2 per cent of Australia’s population, or 481,000 people, were born in China and there was a big growth in the number of Australia residents born in India, Ms Cho said.
“The number of Australian residents born in India has almost tripled over the last 10 years and residents born in China have more than doubled in this time,” she said.
However the United Kingdom is far and away the most common birthplace for Australia residents, with more than 1.2 million people, or 5.1 per cent of the population, born there as of June 30, 2015.
In second place was New Zealand, which was the birthplace for more than 611,000 people or 2.6 per cent of the population.
Indian-born residents make up 1.8 per cent of the population, or more than 432,000 people.
The figures also showed the change in Australia’s migrant mix, with migrants from Europe growing older, Ms Cho said.
“Migrants born in Italy, for example, had a median age of 64.7 years in 2005,” she said.
“This increased to 69.3 years in 2015 – indicating a drop in recent migration and the aging of existing migrants.
“On the other hand, migrants from our Asian neighbours, such as India, have seen a reduction in median age from 37 years in 2005 to 33.4 years in 2015.”
Indian migrant Kishor Nadoda came to Australia 10-years-ago with his wife, and their family has doubled in size in the years since.
He said the lower crime rate, the weather and the good job opportunities had attracted them to Australia over other countries.
“Australia is a multicultural country and I’m contributing to a difficult culture as well,” he told SBS News.
Chinese immigrant JingJing Qui also enjoys her new life in Australia.
“When I stay in China I really miss the environment here,” she told SBS News.
The ABS also found Australia’s net migrants in 2014-2015 was less than 2013-2014 by 18,200, with 168,200 people coming to Australia in 2014-2015.
NSW took in the most new residents with 66,100 people arriving from overseas.
Victoria was next with 54,100 people, followed by Queensland with 19,100.
Top 10 overseas birthplaces of Australian residents:ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION, Australia –
Top 10 countries of birth – 30 June 2015
Country of birthno.% of Australian population
United Kingdom1 207 0005.1New Zealand611 4002.6China481 8002.0India432 7001.8Philippines236 4001.0Vietnam230 2001.0Italy198 2000.8South Africa178 7000.8Malaysia156 5000.7Germany125 9000.5