A Look at the Diversity of the Overseas-Born Population


The people of Australia represent a diverse range of cultures with 8.2 million people born overseas as of June 2023, marking a significant increase of 494,000 from the previous year. This surge has propelled the percentage of overseas-born individuals to 30.7%, surpassing 30% for the first time since 1893, reflecting the resurgence of international travel post-COVID-19 safety measures.

Historical data reveals the impact of major global events on migration trends, with the lowest proportion of overseas-born Australians recorded at 10% in 1947, a period marked by World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II.

The most common countries of birth among the overseas-born population in June 2023 were England, India, China, and New Zealand, collectively constituting over one-third of Australians born overseas. Although Australians born in England remained the largest group at 962,000, this number has gradually declined from its peak of just over one million in 2013. In contrast, the Indian-born population experienced significant growth, becoming the second-largest group at 846,000, with an increase of 467,000 people since 2013.

The demographic landscape of the overseas-born population has also shifted, with the median age decreasing from 45 years in 2021 to 43 years in 2023. This change reflects the influx of younger individuals, including international students, following the reopening of international borders.

Notably, the age group with the highest proportion of overseas-born individuals was 35 to 39-year-olds, with 43% born overseas, while only 3% of 0 to 4-year-olds were born overseas. Western Australia boasted the highest percentage of overseas-born individuals at 34%, albeit experiencing a slight drop from 35% in 2016. On the other hand, Tasmania witnessed the largest increase, rising from 13% in 2016 to 16% in 2021.

On a global scale, Australia ranked ninth in 2020 by the number of people in national populations who were born overseas, with 7.7 million. This accounted for a fraction of the 280.6 million people worldwide residing outside their country of birth, representing 3.6% of the global population.

The dynamic composition of Australia's population by country of birth underscores its rich multicultural fabric, reflecting a diverse and inclusive society that continues to evolve and thrive.

Source: "Australia's Population by Country of Birth, Jun 2023"