Immigration to Australia began when the ancestors of Australian Aborigines arrived on the continent via the islands of Maritime Southeast Asia and New Guinea.
Maritime Southeast Asia is the maritime region of Southeast Asia as opposed to mainland Southeast Asia and comprises what is now Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and Timor Leste. The local Malayo-Polynesian name for the region is Nusantara. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as "island Southeast Asia" or "insular Southeast Asia". The 16th-century term East Indies, and the later 19th-century term Malay Archipelago refers to a largely similar area.
New Guinea is a large island off the continent of Australia. It is the world's second-largest, after Greenland, covering a land area of 785,753 km2 (303,381 sq mi), and the largest wholly or partly within the Southern Hemisphere and Oceania.
Permanent European settlement began in 1788 with the establishment of a British penal colony in New South Wales. From early federation in 1901, Australia maintained the White Australia policy, which was abolished after World War II. Since 1945, more than 7 million people have settled in Australia. From the late 1970s, there was a significant increase in immigration from Asian and other non-European countries, making Australia a multicultural country.
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.
A penal colony is a settlement used to exile prisoners and separate them from the general population by placing them in a remote location, often an island or distant colonial territory. Although the term can be used to refer to a correctional facility located in a remote location it is more commonly used to refer to communities of prisoners overseen by wardens or governors having absolute authority.
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
Net overseas migration has increased from 30,042 in 1992–93to 178,582 persons in 2015–16. The largest components of immigration are the skilled migration and family re-union programs. A 2014 sociological study concluded that: "Australia and Canada are the most receptive to immigration among western nations".
Immigration is the international movement of people into a destination country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle or reside there, especially as permanent residents or naturalized citizens, or to take up employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker.
Australia is a signatory to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and has resettled many asylum seekers. In recent years, Australia's policy of mandatory detention of unauthorised arrivals by boat has attracted controversy.
Asylum in Australia is governed by statutes and Government policies which seek to implement Australia's obligations under the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, to which Australia is a party. Thousands of refugees have sought asylum in Australia over the past decade, with the main forces driving movement being war, civil unrest and persecution. The annual refugee quota is currently 20,000 people. From 1945 to the early 1990s, more than half a million refugees and other displaced persons were accepted into Australia.
The Government of Australia has a policy and practice of detaining in immigration detention facilities non-citizens not holding a valid visa, suspected of visa violations, illegal entry or unauthorised arrival, and those subject to deportation and removal in immigration detention until a decision is made by the immigration authorities to grant a visa and release them into the community, or to repatriate them to their country of departure. Persons in immigration detention may at any time opt to voluntarily leave Australia for their country of origin, or they may be deported or given a bridging or temporary visa.
An unauthorised arrival is a person who has arrived in a country of which they are not a citizen and does not have a valid visa or does not satisfy other required conditions for entry to that country.
On August 7 2018, Australian Bureau of Statistics population clock reached 25 million, with 62% of the growth in the last ten years being a result of immigration. The milestone was 33 years ahead of schedule. Senator Pauline Hanson has called for a national plebiscite asking voters if they think immigration is too high. Opinion polls show majority support for reduced immigration.
Pauline Lee Hanson is an Australian politician who is the founder and leader of Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (PHON). She is currently a Senator representing Queensland in the Parliament of Australia.
The first migration of humans to the continent took place around 65,000 years agovia the islands of Maritime Southeast Asia and Papua New Guinea as part of the early history of human migration out of Africa.
Human migration is the movement by people from one place to another with the intentions of settling, permanently or temporarily in a new location. The movement is often over long distances and from one country to another, but internal migration is also possible; indeed, this is the dominant form globally. People may migrate as individuals, in family units or in large groups. A person who moves from their home to another place because of natural disaster or civil disturbance may be described as a refugee or, especially within the same country, a displaced person. A person seeking refuge from political, religious, or other forms of persecution is usually described as an asylum seeker.
Papua New Guinea, officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is an Oceanian country that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.
Human migration is the movement by people from one place to another with the intention of settling temporarily or permanently in the new location. It typically involves movements over long distances and from one country or region to another.
European migration to Australia began with the British convict settlement of Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788. The First Fleet comprised 11 ships carrying 775 convicts and 645 officials, members of the crew, marines, and their families and children. The settlers consisted of petty criminals, second-rate soldiers and a crew of sailors. There were few with skills needed to start a self-sufficient settlement, such as farmers and builders, and the colony experienced hunger and hardships. Male settlers far outnumbered female settlers. The Second Fleet arrived in 1790 bringing more convicts. The conditions of the transportation was described as horrific and worse than slave transports. Of the 1,026 convicts who embarked, 267 (256 men and 11 women) died during the voyage (26%); a further 486 were sick when they arrived of which 124 died soon after. The fleet was more of a drain on the struggling settlement than of any benefit. Conditions on the Third Fleet, which followed on the heels of the Second Fleet in 1791, were a bit better. The fleet comprised 11 ships. Of the more than 2000 convicts brought onto the ships, 173 male convicts and 9 female convicts died during the voyage. Other transport fleets bringing further convicts as well as freemen to the colony would follow. By the end of the penal transportation in 1868, approximately 165,000 people had entered Australia as convicts.
The colonies promoted migration by a variety of schemes. The Bounty Immigration Scheme (1835-1841) boosted emigration from the United Kingdom to New South Wales.The South Australia Company was established to encourage settlement in South Australia by labourers and skilled migrants.
The Gold rush era, beginning in 1851, led to an enormous expansion in population, including large numbers of British and Irish settlers, followed by smaller numbers of Germans and other Europeans, and Chinese. This latter group were subject to increasing restrictions and discrimination, making it impossible for many to remain in the country. With the Federation of the Australian colonies into a single nation, one of the first acts of the new Commonwealth Government was the Immigration Restriction Act 1901, otherwise known as the White Australia policy, which was a strengthening and unification of disparate colonial policies designed to restrict non-White settlement. Because of opposition from the British government, an explicit racial policy was avoided in the legislation, with the control mechanism being a dictation test in a European language selected by the immigration officer. This was selected to be one the immigrant did not know; the last time an immigrant passed a test was in 1909. Perhaps the most celebrated case was Egon Erwin Kisch, a left-wing Czechoslovakian journalist, who could speak five languages, who was failed in a test in Scottish Gaelic, and deported as illiterate.
The government also found that if it wanted immigrants it had to subsidise migration. The great distance from Europe made Australia a more expensive and less attractive destination than Canada and the United States. The number of immigrants needed during different stages of the economic cycle could be controlled by varying the subsidy. Before federation in 1901, assisted migrants received passage assistance from colonial government funds. The British government paid for the passage of convicts, paupers, the military and civil servants. Few immigrants received colonial government assistance before 1831.
|Period||Annual average assisted immigrants|
With the onset of the Great Depression, the Governor-General proclaimed the cessation of immigration until further notice, and the next group to arrive were 5000 Jewish refuge families from Germany in 1938. Approved groups such as these were assured of entry by being issued with a Certificate of Exemption from the Dictation Test.
After World War II Australia launched a massive immigration program, believing that having narrowly avoided a Japanese invasion, Australia must "populate or perish". Hundreds of thousands of displaced Europeans migrated to Australia and over 1,000,000 British subjects immigrated under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme, colloquially becoming known as Ten Pound Poms.The scheme initially targeted citizens of all Commonwealth countries; after the war it gradually extended to other countries such as the Netherlands and Italy. The qualifications were straightforward: migrants needed to be in sound health and under the age of 45 years. There were initially no skill restrictions, although under the White Australia Policy, people from mixed-race backgrounds found it very difficult to take advantage of the scheme.
In the 1970s, multiculturalism largely displaced cultural selectivity in immigration policy.
There are a number of different types of Australian immigration, classed under different categories of visa:
Employment and family visas can often lead to Australian citizenship; however, this requires the applicant to have lived in Australia for at least four years with at least one year as a permanent resident.
Claims have been made that Australia's migration program is in conflict with anti age-discrimination legislation and there have been calls to remove or amend the age limit of 50 for general skilled migrants.
Australia grants two types of visa under its humanitarian program:
The cap for visas granted under the humanitarian program was 13,750 for 2015-16,plus an additional 12,000 visas available for refugees from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
The Australian Government and the community[ which? ] provide a number of migration-assistance and settlement-support services:
In 2016, 28.6% of the Australian resident population, or 6,912,100 people, were born overseas.
The Australian resident population consists of people who were born in the following countries:
|Place of birth||Estimated resident population, 2016 census||Estimated resident population, 2011 census||Estimated resident population, 2006 census||Estimated resident population, 2001 census|
Among the States, there are some differences in settlement patterns, as demonstrated in the statistics compiled at the 2006 Census:
There is a range of views in the Australian community on the composition and level of immigration, and on the possible effects of varying the level of immigration and population growth.
In 2002, a CSIRO population study commissioned by the former Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, outlined six potential dilemmas associated with immigration-driven population growth. These included: the absolute numbers of aged continuing to rise despite high immigration off-setting ageing and declining birth-rates in a proportional sense; a worsening of Australia's trade balance due to more imports and higher consumption of domestic production; increased greenhouse gas emissions; overuse of agricultural soils; marine fisheries and domestic supplies of oil and gas; and a decline in urban air quality, river quality and biodiversity.
Some environmental movements believe that as the driest inhabited continent, Australia cannot continue to sustain its current rate of population growth without becoming overpopulated. The Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) argues that climate change will lead to a deterioration of natural ecosystems through increased temperatures, extreme weather events and less rainfall in the southern part of the continent, thus reducing its capacity to sustain a large population even further.The Australia Institute has concluded that Australia’s population growth has been one of the main factors driving growth in domestic greenhouse gas emissions. It concluded that the average emissions per capita in the countries that immigrants come from is only 42 percent of average emissions in Australia, finding that as immigrants alter their lifestyle to that of Australians, they increase global greenhouse gas emissions. The Institute calculated that each additional 70,000 immigrants will lead to additional emissions of 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gases by the end of the Kyoto target period (2012) and 30 million tonnes by 2020.
A number of economists, such as Macquarie Bank analyst Rory Robertson, assert that high immigration and the propensity of new arrivals to cluster in the capital cities is exacerbating the nation's housing affordability problem.According to Robertson, Federal Government policies that fuel demand for housing, such as the currently high levels of immigration, as well as capital gains tax discounts and subsidies to boost fertility, have had a greater impact on housing affordability than land release on urban fringes.
The Productivity Commission in its 2004 Inquiry Report No. 28, First Home Ownership, concluded: "Growth in immigration since the mid-1990s has been an important contributor to underlying demand, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne."The Reserve Bank of Australia in its submission to the same Productivity Commission report stated that "rapid growth in overseas visitors such as students may have boosted demand for rental housing". However, the Commission found that "the ABS resident population estimates have limitations when used for assessing housing demand. Given the significant influx of foreigners coming to work or study in Australia in recent years, it seems highly likely that short-stay visitor movements may have added to the demand for housing. However, the Commissions are unaware of any research that quantifies the effects."
Some individuals and interest groups have also argued that immigration causes overburdened infrastructure.
Australia maintains a list of skilled occupations that are currently acceptable for immigration to Australia.
In 2009, following the global financial crisis, the Australian government reduced its immigration target by 14%, and the permanent migration program for skilled migrants was reduced to 115,000 people for that financial year.In 2010-2011, the migration intake was adjusted so that 67.5% of the permanent migration program would be for skilled migrants, and 113,725 visas were granted.
According to Graduate Careers Australia, there have been some declines in full-time employment between 2012–2015 for recent university graduates of various degrees, including dentistry, computer science, architecture, psychology, and nursing.In 2014, a number of the professional associations for some of these fields criticised the immigration policy for skilled migrants, contending that these policies have contributed to difficulties for local degree holders in obtaining full-time employment. In 2016, the Department of Health forecast a shortfall in nurses of approximately 85,000 by 2025 and 123,000 by 2030.
In 2016, Monash University academics published a report which contended that Australia's immigration program is deeply flawed. The government's Medium to Long-Term Strategic Skill List allows immigration by professionals who end up competing with graduates of Australian universities for scarce positions. On the other hand, Australia's shortage of skilled tradespeople is not being addressed.
Another element in the immigration debate is a concern to alleviate adverse impacts arising from Australia's aging population. The former Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello has said that Australia is underpopulated due to a low birth rate, and that negative population growth will have adverse long-term effects on the economy as the population ages and the labour market becomes less competitive. [ citation needed ] However, opponents of population growth such as Sustainable Population Australia do not accept that population growth will decline and reverse, based on current immigration and fertility projections.To avoid this outcome the government increased immigration to fill gaps in labour markets and introduced a subsidy to encourage families to have more children.
There is debate over whether immigration can slow the ageing of Australia's population. In a research paper entitled Population Futures for Australia: the Policy Alternatives, Peter McDonald claims that "it is demographic nonsense to believe that immigration can help to keep our population young."However, according to Creedy and Alvarado (p. 99), by 2031 there will be a 1.1 per cent fall in the proportion of the population aged over 65 if net migration rate is 80,000 per year. If net migration rate is 170,000 per year, the proportion of the population aged over 65 would reduce by 3.1 per cent. As of 2007 during the leadership of John Howard, the net migration rate was 160,000 per year.
According to the Commonwealth Treasury, immigration can reduce the average age of the Australian population: "The level of net overseas migration is important: net inflows of migrants to Australia reduce the rate of population ageing because migrants are younger on average than the resident population. Currently, around 85 per cent of migrants are aged under 40 when they migrate to Australia, compared to around 55 per cent for the resident population."Ross Gittins, an economics columnist at Fairfax Media, has said that the Government's focus on skilled migration has in fact reduced the average age of migrants. "More than half are aged 15 to 34, compared with 28 per cent of our population. Only 2 per cent of permanent immigrants are 65 or older, compared with 13 per cent of our population." Because of these statistics, Gittens claims that immigration is slowing the ageing of the Australian population and that the "net benefit to the economy is a lot more clear-cut."
Robert Birrell, director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University, has argued: "It is true that a net migration intake averaging around 180,000 per year will mean that the proportion of persons aged 65 plus to the total population will be a few percentage points lower in 2050 than it would be with a low migration intake. But this ‘gain’ would be bought at the expense of having to accommodate a much larger population. These people too, will age, thus requiring an even larger migration intake in subsequent years to look after them."
In July 2005 the Productivity Commission launched a commissioned study entitled Economic Impacts of Migration and Population Growth,and released an initial position paper on 17 January 2006 which states that the increase of income per capita provided by higher migration (50 percent more than the base model) by the 2024–2025 financial year would be $335 (0.6%), an amount described as "very small." The paper also found that Australians would on average work 1.3 percent longer hours, about twice the proportional increase in income.
Using regression analysis, Addison and Worswick found in a 2002 study that "there is no evidence that immigration has negatively impacted on the wages of young or low-skilled natives." Furthermore, Addison's study found that immigration did not increase unemployment among native workers. Rather, immigration decreased unemployment.However, in 2005 the Productivity Commission concluded that higher immigration levels would result in lower wage growth for existing Australian residents. On the impact of immigration on unemployment levels, the Commission said: "The conclusion that immigration has not caused unemployment at an aggregate level does not imply that it cannot lead to higher unemployment for specific groups. Immigration could worsen the labour market outcomes of people who work in sectors of the economy that have high concentrations of immigrant workers."
Gittins claims there is considerable opposition to immigration in Australia by "battlers" because of the belief that immigrants will steal jobs. Gittins claims though that "it's true that immigrants add to the supply of labour. But it's equally true that, by consuming and bringing families who consume, they also add to the demand for labour – usually by more."Overall, Gittins has written that the "economic case for rapid population growth though immigration is surprisingly weak," noting the diseconomies of scale, infrastructure costs and negative environmental impacts associated with continued immigration-driven population growth.
Robert Birrell has asserted that high immigration levels are being used by the Federal Government to stimulate aggregate economic growth, but that per capita growth is more important to Australians.Birrell concluded that high migration does not benefit existing residents, because it dilutes the benefit that can accrue from the export of non-renewable resources which form a large part of the Australian economy. As well, Birrell argues that a slowdown in labour force growth would require employers to pay greater attention to training, wages and conditions of workers.
Robert Birrell has argued that immigration is creating social divisions and risks long-term national unity.Anthropologist and ethologist Frank Salter has argued that immigration is creating "ethnic stratification" in Australian society.
Over the last decade, leaders of the major Federal political parties have demonstrated support for high level immigration (including John Howard, Peter Costello and Kim Beazley). There was, overall, an upward trend in the number of immigrants to Australia over the period of the Howard Government (1996–2007). The Rudd Labor Government (elected 2007) increased the quota again once in office. In 2010, both major parties continue to support high immigration, with former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd advocating a 'Big Australia'; and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott stating in a 2010 Australia Day speech that: "My instinct is to extend to as many people as possible the freedom and benefits of life in Australia".
In 2003, economist Ross Gittins, a columnist at Fairfax Media , said former Prime Minister John Howard had been "a tricky chap " on immigration, by appearing "tough" on illegal immigration to win support from the working class, while simultaneously winning support from employers with high legal immigration.In 2006, the Labor Party under Kim Beazley took a stance against the importation of increasingly large numbers of temporary skilled migrant workers by employers, arguing that this is simply a way for employers to drive down wages.
Anti-immigration policies are a major part of the One Nation Party, formed by Pauline Hanson in the late 1990s.
Australia's policies concerning refugees and asylum have also been highly controversial and the subject of much debate.
The term White Australia policy was widely used to encapsulate a set of historical policies that aimed to exclude people of non-European origin, especially Asians and Pacific Islanders from immigrating to Australia. Governments progressively dismantled such policies between 1949 and 1973.
The demography of Australia covers basic statistics, most populous cities, ethnicity and religion. The population of Australia is estimated to be 25,257,600 as of 15 February 2019. 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.
Australian permanent residents are residents of Australia who hold a permanent residency visa but are not citizens of Australia. A holder of a permanent residency visa may remain in Australia indefinitely. A 5-year initial travel facility, which corresponds to the underlying migration program, is granted alongside the permanent residency. Until the travel facility expires, the visa holder may leave and re-enter Australia freely. After that period the visa holder needs to re-apply for the travel facility.
The Australian migration zone is a legal device created by the Australian government for the purpose of Australia's visa policy and immigration policy. In the Australian migration zone, which covers such Australian controlled territories as the government may determine, a non-citizen must hold an Australian visa. Without such a visa, or a bridging visa, the alien is treated as an "unauthorised arrival". Prior to 2001, the Australian migration zone consisted of the mainland, and some external territories.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) was a department of the Government of Australia that was responsible for immigration, citizenship and border control. It has now been subsumed into the Department of Home Affairs, which combines its responsibilities with a number of other portfolios.
The immigration history of Australia began with the initial human migration to the continent around 80,000 years ago when the ancestors of Australian Aboriginals arrived on the continent via the islands of Maritime Southeast Asia and New Guinea. From the early 17th century onwards, the continent experienced the first coastal landings and exploration by European explorers. Permanent European settlement began in 1788 with the establishment of a British penal colony in New South Wales. From early federation in 1901, Australia maintained the White Australia Policy, which was abolished after World War II, heralding the modern era of multiculturalism in Australia. From the late 1970s there was a significant increase in immigration from Asian and other non-European countries.
Since 1945, immigration to the United Kingdom under British nationality law has been significant, in particular from the Republic of Ireland and from the former British Empire especially India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Caribbean, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Hong Kong. Other immigrants have come as asylum seekers, seeking protection as refugees under the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, or from member states of the European Union, exercising one of the European Union's Four Freedoms.
Chinese Australians are Australian citizens of Chinese ancestry. Chinese Australians are one of the largest groups of Overseas Chinese people, forming the largest Overseas Chinese community in Oceania. Per capita, Australia has more people of Chinese ancestry than any country outside Asia. Many Chinese Australians have immigrated from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and other countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, while many are descendants of such immigrants. Chinese Australians are also a subgroup of Asian Australians and East Asian Australians and represent the single largest minority ethnicity in the country. As a whole, Australian residents identifying themselves as having Chinese ancestry made up 5.6% of those nominating their ancestry at the 2016 census and numbered 1,213,903.
Asian Australians are Australians who trace their ancestry back to Asia.
The visa policy of Australia deals with the requirements that a foreign national wishing to enter Australia must meet to obtain a visa, which is a permit to travel, to enter and remain in the country. Visa rules are set out in the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations, which are administered by the Department of Home Affairs.
A Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa is a type of Australian immigration visa granted on arrival in Australia to a non-citizen who is a permanent resident of Norfolk Island.
African Australians are Australians of African ancestry. Large-scale immigration from Africa to Australia is only a recent phenomenon, with Europe and Asia traditionally being the largest sources of migration to Australia. In 2005–06, permanent settler arrivals to Australia included 4,000 South Africans and 3,800 Sudanese, constituting the sixth and seventh largest sources of migrants, respectively.
Australians, colloquially known as Aussies, are citizens and nationals of the Commonwealth of Australia, although some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim Australian nationality. Home to people of many different ethnic origins, religious, and national origins, the Australian culture and law does not correspond nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and loyalty to the country. Despite the fact that over half of the citizens descend from the peoples of the British Isles, Australia is a multicultural society and has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population.
Home ownership in Australia is considered a key cultural icon, and part of the Australian tradition known as the Great Australian Dream of "owning a detached house on a fenced block of land." Home ownership has been seen as creating a responsible citizenry; according to a former Premier of Victoria: "The home owner feels that he has a stake in the country, and that he has something worth working for, living for, fighting for."
Indian Australians are Australians of Indian descent or heritage. This includes both those who are Australian by birth, and those born in India or elsewhere in the Indian diaspora. They are one of the fastest growing communities in Australia today.
New Zealand Australians refers to Australian citizens whose origins are in New Zealand, as well as New Zealand migrants and expatriates based in Australia. Migration from New Zealand to Australia is a common phenomenon, given Australia's proximity to New Zealand and cultural links between the two countries.
Congolese Australians are Australians of Congolese descent or who were born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the Republic of the Congo. The population of Congolese born Australians has increased significantly over the past 20 years, from just 21 at the 1996 Census to 5,522 at the 2016 Census.
In 2016, 28.6% of the Australian resident population, or 6,912,100 people, were born overseas.
Aboriginal Australians are descended from the same small group of people who left Africa about 70,000 years ago and colonised the rest of the world, a large genetic study shows. After arriving in Australia and New Guinea about 50,000 years ago, the settlers evolved in relative isolation, developing unique genetic characteristics and technology.