|Regions with significant populations|
|Papua New Guinea||10,000|
|Australian English · Australian Aboriginal languages ·Other minority languages|
|52% Christian (Catholicism, Anglicanism and other denominations) |
8% Various non-Christian religions
|Related ethnic groups|
|New Zealanders, Aboriginal Australians|
Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens, nationals and individuals associated with the country of Australia. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Australians, several (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Australian. Australian law does not provide for a racial or ethnic component of nationality, instead relying on citizenship as a legal status.
Between 1788 and the Second World War, the vast majority of settlers and immigrants came from the British Isles (principally England, Ireland and Scotland), although there was significant immigration from China and Germany during the 19th century. Many early British settlements were penal colonies to house transported convicts. Immigration of "free settlers" increased exponentially from the 1850s, following a series of gold rushes. In the decades immediately following the Second World War, Australia received a large wave of immigration from across Europe, with many more immigrants arriving from Southern and Eastern Europe than in previous decades.
Since the end of the White Australia policy in 1973, Australia has pursued an official policy of multiculturalism and has the world's eighth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 30 percent of the population in 2019. [ page needed ] A smaller proportion are descended from Australia's indigenous peoples, comprising Aboriginal Australians, Aboriginal Tasmanians and Torres Strait Islanders.A large and continuing wave of immigration to Australia from across the world has continued into the 21st century, with Asia now being the largest source of immigrants.
The development of a separate Australian identity and national character began in the 19th century, linked with the anti-transportation and nativist movements and the Eureka Rebellion during the colonial period and culminated in the federation of the Australian colonies in 1901. The primary language is Australian English, and Australian culture and literature have historically developed from Anglo-Celtic and Western traditions.[ citation needed ]
The majority of Australians or their ancestors immigrated within the past four centuries, with the exception of the indigenous population and others from outlying islands who became Australian through expansion of the country. Despite its multi-ethnic composition, the culture of Australia held in common by most Australians can also be referred to as mainstream Australian culture, a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of British and Irish colonists, settlers, and immigrants.[ citation needed ]
The Colony of New South Wales was established by the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1788, with the arrival of the First Fleet, and five other colonies were established in the early 19th century, now forming the six present-day Australian states. Large-scale immigration occurred after the First and Second World Wars, with many post-World War II migrants coming from Southern and Eastern Europe introducing a variety of elements. Immigration from the Middle East, south and east Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, and Latin America has also been having an impact.[ citation needed ]
The predominance of the English language, the existence of a democratic system of government drawing upon the British traditions of the Westminster system of government, Parliamentarianism and constitutional monarchy, American constitutionalist and federalist traditions, Christianity as the dominant religion, and the popularity of sports originating in (or influenced by) the British Isles, are all evidence of a significant Anglo-Celtic heritage. Australian culture has diverged significantly since British settlement. Sporting teams representing the whole of Australia have been in existence since the 1870s.
Australians are referred to as "Aussie" and are may be referred to as "Antipodean" by those in the northern hemisphere.Prior to the introduction of Australian citizenship, Australians had the status of "British subjects".
As a result of many shared linguistic, historical, cultural and geographic characteristics, Australians have often identified closely with New Zealanders in particular. Furthermore, elements of Indigenous, American, British, and more recent immigrant customs, languages, and religions have also combined to form the modern Australian culture.
In the 2016 Australian census, the most commonly nominated ancestries were:
Today, Australians of European (including Anglo-Celtic) descent are the majority in Australia, estimated at approximately 76% of the total population in 2016.Historically, European immigrants had great influence over Australian history and society, which resulted in the perception of Australia as a Western country.
Since soon after the beginning of British settlement in 1788, people of European descent have formed the majority of the population in Australia.
Although some observers stress Australia's convict history, the vast majority of early settlers came of their own free will. [ citation needed ]Far more Australians are descended from assisted immigrants than from convicts, the majority being British and Irish. About 20 percent of Australians are descendants of convicts. Most of the first Australian settlers came from London, the Midlands and the North of England, and Ireland. Settlers that arrived throughout the 19th century were from all parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland, a significant proportion of settlers came from the Southwest and Southeast of England, from Ireland and from Scotland. Anglo-Celtic Australians have been highly influential in shaping the nation's character. By the mid-1840s, the numbers of freeborn settlers had overtaken the convict population. In 1888, 60 percent of the Australian population had been born in Australia, and almost all had British ancestral origins. Out of the remaining 40 percent, 34 percent had been born in the British Isles, and 6 percent were of European origin, mainly from Germany and Scandinavia. In the 1840s, Scots-born immigrants constituted 12 percent of the Australian population. There were 1.3 million British migrants to Australia in the period from 1861 to 1914, of whom 13.5 percent were Scots. 5.3 percent of the convicts transported to Eastern Australia between 1789 and 1852 were Scots. By 1850, there were 290,000 Aboriginal Australians. The European population grew from 0.3 percent of the population of the continent at 1800 to 58.6 percent in 1850. Germans formed the largest non-British community for most of the 19th century. The census of 1901 showed that 98 percent of Australians had Anglo-Celtic ancestral origins, and was considered as "more British than Britain itself". Between 1901 and 1940, 140,000 non-British European immigrants arrived in Australia (about 16 percent of the total intake). Before World War II, 13.6 percent were born overseas, and 80 percent of those were British. In 1939 and 1945, still 98 percent of Australians had British/Anglo-Celtic ancestral origins. Until 1947, the vast majority of the population were of British origin. During the 1950s, Australia was the destination of 30 per cent of Dutch emigrants and the Netherlands-born became numerically the second largest non-British group in Australia. In 1971, 70 percent of the foreign born were of European origin. Abolition of the White Australia Policy in 1957 led to a significant increase in non-European immigration, mostly from Asia and the Middle East.
At the 2016 census, there were 3,514,915 nominations of ancestries classified by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as falling within the geographical categories of East Asia, Southeast Asia and Central and Southern Asia.This represents 16.15 percent of persons who nominated their ancestry. 2,665,814 persons claimed one of the six most commonly nominated Asian ancestries, namely Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and Sri Lankan, at the 2016 census. Persons claiming one of these six ancestries alone represented 12.25 percent of the total population who nominated their ancestry.
Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and Sri Lankan are the most commonly nominated Asian ancestries in Australia. [ citation needed ]Chinese Australians constituted 5.6 percent of the Australian population and Indian Australians constituted 2.8 percent at the 2016 census.
Indigenous Australians are descendants of the original inhabitants of the Australian continent.Their ancestors are believed to have migrated from Africa to Asia around 70,000 years ago and arrived in Australia around 50,000 years ago. The Torres Strait Islanders are a distinct people of Melanesian ancestry, indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands, which are at the northernmost tip of Queensland near Papua New Guinea, and some nearby settlements on the mainland. The term "Aboriginal" is traditionally applied to only the indigenous inhabitants of mainland Australia and Tasmania, along with some of the adjacent islands. Indigenous Australians is an inclusive term used when referring to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders, i.e.: the "first peoples".
Dispersing across the Australian continent over time, the ancient peoples expanded and differentiated into hundreds of distinct groups, each with its own language and culture.More than 400 distinct Australian Aboriginal peoples have been identified across the continent, distinguished by unique names designating their ancestral languages, dialects, or distinctive speech patterns.
In 1770, fearing he had been pre-empted by the French, James Cook changed a hilltop signal-drill on Possession Island in Torres Strait, into a possession ceremony, fabricating Britain's claim of Australia's east coast. [ citation needed ] speaking many different languages.Eighteen years later, the east coast was occupied by Britain and later the west coast was also settled by Britain. At that time, the indigenous population was estimated to have been between 315,000 and 750,000, divided into as many as 500 tribes
At the 2016 census, 649,171 people (2.8% of the total population) identified as being Indigenous — Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders.Indigenous Australians experience higher than average rates of imprisonment and unemployment, lower levels of education, and life expectancies for males and females that are, respectively, 11 and 17 years lower than those of non-indigenous Australians. Some remote Indigenous communities have been described as having "failed state"-like conditions.
In 2019, 30% of the Australian resident population, or 7,529,570 people, were born overseas.
The Australian resident population consists of people who were born in the following countries:
|Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2019)|
|Place of birth||Estimated resident population|
|Hong Kong SAR||101,290|
For more information about immigration see Immigration to Australia and Foreign-born population of Australia.
The data in the table is sourced from the Australian Bureau of StatisticsThe population estimates do not include the Aboriginal population before 1961. Estimates of Aboriginal population prior to European settlement range from 300,000 to one million, with archaeological finds indicating a sustainable population of around 750,000.
Australian citizenship did not exist before 26 January 1949. Before then, people born in Australia were British subjects. People born in Australia (including Norfolk Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island) on or after 20 August 1986 are Australian citizens by birth if at least one parent was an Australian citizen or a permanent resident at the time of the person's birth.
Statistics do not exist as to the number of Australians who currently are dual citizens. In 2000, it was estimated to be 4 to 5 million people.
The current Australian resident population is estimated at 26,289,000 (5June2021). This does not include an estimated 1 million Australians living overseas, but it includes Australians born overseas. There are an estimated 1 million Australians (approximately 5 percent of the population) residing outside Australia. The Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement facilitates open migration to and from New Zealand.
Although Australia has no official language, English has always been entrenched as the de facto national language.Australian English is a major variety of the language with a distinctive accent and lexicon, and differs slightly from other varieties of English in grammar and spelling. General Australian serves as the standard dialect.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2016 census, English is the only language spoken in the home for close to 72.7 percent of the population. The next most common languages spoken at home are:
A considerable proportion of first- and second-generation migrants are bilingual.
Over 250 Indigenous Australian languages are thought to have existed at the time of first European contact, of which less than 20 are still in daily use by all age groups.About 110 others are spoken exclusively by older people. At the time of the 2006 census, 52,000 Indigenous Australians, representing 12 percent of the Indigenous population, reported that they spoke an Indigenous language at home. Australia has a sign language known as Auslan, which is the main language of about 5,500 deaf people.
Australia has no official religion; its Constitution prohibits the government from establishing one, or interfering with the freedom of religion.
Australians have various religions and spiritual beliefs. Majority (52.1 percent) were Christian, while 30.1 percent of the population reported as having no religion, of those reporting as having religious affiliations according to the 2016 census.As in many Western countries, the level of active participation in church worship is lower than would be indicated by the proportion of the population identifying themselves as Christian; weekly attendance at church services was about 1.5 million in 2001, about 7% of the population (21.5 million ) that year.
The demography of Australia covers basic statistics, most populous cities, ethnicity and religion. The population of Australia is estimated to be 25,809,500 as of 6 June 2021. Australia is the 52nd most populous country in the world and the most populous Oceanian country. Its population is concentrated mainly in urban areas and is expected to exceed 28 million by 2030.
The indigenous peoples of Oceania are Polynesians, Melanesians, Micronesians, Papuans, and Aboriginal Australians. With the notable exceptions of Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, New Caledonia and Guam, indigenous peoples make up the majority of the populations of Oceania.
Asian Australians are Australians who trace their ancestry to Asia.
Australia legally has no official language. However, English is by far the most commonly spoken and has been entrenched as the de facto national language since European settlement. Australian English is a major variety of the English language with a distinctive pronunciation and lexicon, and differs slightly from other varieties of English in grammar and spelling. General Australian serves as the standard dialect.
The Census in Australia, officially the Census of Population and Housing, is the national census in Australia that occurs every five years. The census collects key demographic, social and economic data from all people in Australia on census night, including overseas visitors and residents of Australian external territories, only excluding foreign diplomats. The census is the largest and most significant statistical event in Australia and is run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Every person must complete the census, although some personal questions are not compulsory. The penalty for failing to complete the census after being directed to by the Australian Statistician is one federal penalty unit, or A$220. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 and Census and Statistics Act 1905 authorise the ABS to collect, store, and share anonymised data.
Sydney is Australia's most populous city, and is also the most populous city in Oceania. In the 2016 census, 5,005,400 persons declared themselves as residents of the Sydney Statistical Division–about one-fifth (19.41%) of Australia's total population. With a population density of 2037 people per square kilometre the urban core has population density five times that of the greater region.
The Shire of Cook is a local government area in Far North Queensland, Australia. The Shire covers most of the eastern and central parts of Cape York Peninsula, the most northerly section of the Australian mainland.
The Shire of Mornington is a local government area in northwestern Queensland, Australia. The shire covers Mornington Island as well as neighbouring islands in the Wellesley Islands group in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Ninety-three percent of the employees of the Shire Council are indigenous local residents.
Indigenous Australians are people with familial heritage to groups that lived in Australia before British colonisation. They include the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia. The term Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples or the person's specific cultural group, is often preferred, though the terms First Nations of Australia, First Peoples of Australia and First Australians are also increasingly common.
Australian studies forms part of the academic field of cultural studies. It involves an examination of what constructs Australia’s national identity. This area of scholarship traditionally involves the study of Australian history, society and culture but can be extended to the study of Australian politics and economics. This area of scholarship also includes the study of Australia’s Indigenous population, Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.
Melbourne is Australia's second largest city and has a diverse and multicultural population.
The Warumungu language is spoken by the Warumungu people in Australia's Northern Territory. In addition to spoken language, the Warumungu have a highly developed sign language.
European Australians or White Australians are citizens or residents of Australia whose ancestry originates from the peoples of Europe. They form the largest panethnic group in the country.
Indigenous Australians are both convicted of crimes and imprisoned at a disproportionately higher rate in Australia, as well as being over-represented as victims of crime. The issue is a complex one, to which federal and state governments, as well as Indigenous groups, have responded with various analyses and numerous programs and measures. As of September 2019, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 28% of the total adult prisoner population, while accounting for 2% of the general adult population.
Punishment in Australia arises when an individual has been convicted of breaking the law through the Australian criminal justice system. Australia uses prisons, as well as community corrections. The death penalty has been abolished, and corporal punishment is no longer used. Prison labour occurs in Australia, prisoners are involved in many types of work with some paid as little as $0.82 per hour. Before the colonisation of Australia by Europeans, Indigenous Australians had their own traditional punishments, some of which are still practised. The most severe punishment by law which can be imposed in Australia is life imprisonment. In the most extreme cases of murder, courts in the states and territories can impose life imprisonment without parole, thus ordering the convicted person to spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Nakkara (Na-kara) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Nagara people of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Alawa (Galawa) is a moribund Indigenous Australian language spoken by the Alawa people of the Northern Territory. In 1991, there were reportedly 18 remaining speakers and 4 semi-speakers.
Mangarla, also spelt Mangala, is a Pama–Nyungan language of Western Australia. It is spoken by the Mangarla people of the north-western area of the Great Sandy Desert.
Guugu Yalandji (Kuku-Yalanji) is an Australian Aboriginal language of Queensland. It is the traditional language of the Kuku Yalanji people. Despite conflicts between the Kuku Yalanji people and British settlers in Queensland, the Kuku Yalanji language has a healthy number of speakers, and that number is increasing. Though the language is threatened, the language use is vigorous and children are learning it in schools. All generations of speakers have positive language attitudes. The Kuku Yalanji still practice their traditional religion, and they have rich oral traditions. Many people in the Kuku Yalanji community also use English. 100 Kuku Yalanji speakers can both read and write in Kuku Yalanji.
Canberra is Australia's capital and its largest inland city. At the 2016 census, it had 395,790 residents. This amounted to only 1.7% of Australia's population. The population density for Canberra is 443.5 people per sq kilometre.
The 90,000 Australian citizens in Hong Kong—mostly ethnic Chinese..
Australia's first inhabitants, the Aboriginal people, are believed to have migrated from some unknown point in Asia to Australia between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago.