New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show the highest number of Australians born overseas in more than a century.
“Australia has traditionally had a high proportion of migrants, but we’ve now hit a peak not seen since the late 1800s,” said the ABS’s Beidar Cho.
The statistics are accurate as of June 30, 2015 and show that approximately 28.2 per cent of the current population was born overseas, but surprisingly Greece didn’t make the Top 10.
Taking out the top spot is the United Kingdom, where more than 1.2 million people, or 5.1 per cent of the population was born.
New Zealand came in at second, with more than 611,000 people or 2.6 per cent of the population born in the neighbouring region.
Asia dominated next with 2 per cent of the population (481,000 people) born in China, followed by a jump in Australian residents born in India with figures standing at more than 432,000.
“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,” said Ms Cho.
Also making the Top Ten were there the Philippines (236,400), Vietnam (230,200), Italy (198,200), South Africa ( 178,700), Malaysia (156,500) and Germany (125,900).
While there was an increase in migration from the Asian region, according to Ms Cho the figures also demonstrated a drop in migration from long-established cultural groups in Australia, such as Italy.
“Migrants born in Italy, for example, had a median age of 64.7 years in 2005. This increased to 69.3 years in 2015 – indicating a drop in recent migration and the ageing of existing migrants,” she said.
“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.”
The ABS also noted a decrease in Australia’s net number of migrants in 2014-2015, with 168,200 people venturing Down Under – 18,200 less than 2013-2014.