The demographics of Australia is changing rapidly and according to the 2021 Australian Census which was just released yesterday we are becoming more culturally diverse as a nation and as people.
Sukhmani Khorana, Senior Research Fellow at Western Sydney University wrote in her piece for The Conversation that with a more cultural diverse population needs to see changes in policies and institutions which foster a more inclusive environment and promote a sense of “belonging”:
The growing number of first-generation migrants means Australians’ ancestry will change significantly over the next decade. Australia will continue to change and look different, and we must ensure our institutions and policies reflect this.
That work, by governments and policymakers, should begin now so they can gain trust and maximise the belonging of these communities. Research shows feelings of belonging lead to better socioeconomic outcomes.
Now to the data in brief. Here are some of the interesting changes Australia has experienced over the past few years ( via ABS):
- 27.6 per cent of the population were born overseas.
- 61,860 international visitors were in Australia during the Census collection period.
- Top 5 languages used at home, other than English, were Mandarin (2.7 per cent), Arabic (1.4 per cent), Vietnamese (1.3 per cent), Cantonese (1.2 per cent) and Punjabi (0.9 per cent).
- Top 5 ancestries were English (33.0 per cent), Australian (29.9 per cent), Irish (9.5 per cent), Scottish (8.6 per cent) and Chinese (5.5 per cent).
- Top 5 religious affiliations were No religion (38.9 per cent), Catholic (20 per cent), Anglican (9.8 per cent), Islam (3.2 per cent) and Hinduism (2.7 per cent).
- India surpassed New Zealand and China in becoming the second-most common overseas country of birth;
- 5 of the top 10 most common countries of birth are Asian countries of India, China, Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia;
This snap shot is interesting for sure, and the next census will hopefully be even more inclusive and capture data on ethnicity, as capturing only ‘country of birth’, doesn’t cover non-migrant generations of Australians.
Want to check out more, please go to the ABS website for more information.