Facts about Australia’s Population Diversity

July 31, 2005 3:45 PM

Having been in Australia for 16 years, it never ceases to amaze me how time and time again racists and “pundits” would crawl out of their collective cesspool and spout ridiculous and alarmist statements based on flimsy stats or evidence. The most recent being the professor from Macquarie University. So I thought what better way of countering all these rednecks than by using the facts from our government – woops, sorry … “your” government.

The following are stats from the 2001 census done by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


  • 13,629,685 people (72.6%) – Australian-born
  • Of those born overseas, the top three countries of birth:

  • United Kingdom: 1,036,245 (5.5%)
  • New Zealand: 355,765 (1.9%)
  • Italy: 218,718 (1.2%)

Top three ancestries:

  • Australian: 6,739,594 people (35.9%)
  • English: 6,358,880 people (33.9%)
  • Irish: 1,919,727 people (10.2%)

Languages spoken at home:

  • English as the only language: 15,013,965 people (80.0%)
  • Most common languages other than English:

  • Chinese languages: 401,357 (2.1%)
  • Italian 353,605 (1.9%)
  • Greek 263,717 (1.4%)


  • Christianity: 68%
  • Other: 4.9%
  • None: 15.5%
  • Not stated: 11.7%

A snapshot of source countries of arrivals July 2001 – June 2002:

  • 21.5% Europe, USSR, North America
  • 78.5% Oceania, ME/North Africa, S/Central America, Carribean, Africa

Racists and right-wingers in recent times have always use that last bit of information to say that the country is being overrun by non-whites (note: Oceania includes New Zealand). But once that is placed in context with the other stats, it paints a completely different picture.

For all the hysteria, English is still the most widely spoken language by a huge margin. The top ancestries of the population are European and Australian in nature. 68% of the population claims Christianity as their religion while a majority of the remainder do not have one.

Whatever your thoughts about political-correctness, facts are facts. Australia has changed since its birth as a country in 1901 and will continue to change. But as we can see from the stats, Australia is still Australia only with a lot more different colours and flavours added since 1901. Instead of fearing a dilution of what constitutes “Australian”, think of it as continually improving upon a time-tested and ageless recipe.

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8 thoughts on “Facts about Australia’s Population Diversity

  1. Anonymous

    I thought this is old story dude. It was there since Bob Hawke was premier. So what are these rednecks up to now? You have been mentioning this racial thingy quite often on your blog, what’s up with that? Is there a sudden surge once again? I believe the “racist” people in Perth has too much time on their hands.


  2. mooiness

    Bob Hawke was PM you mean. It’s not just Perth – I’m talking about Australia in general. The reason I’m talking about it is because it is highly appropriate in the world today.

    Follow the news dude.

  3. ~*Starryluvly*~

    I find it hard to believe that a professor would make such a claim: the first thing anyone learns in anthropology is that race is a folk catergory – it has no scientific legitimacy.

    If I remember correctly, I believe I even read an article which said that even though Pacific Islanders and Africans have similar skin types and hair texture, that one of them are actually more genetically akin to the Europeans… or something like that.

    Again, quite surprised that the professor made such an outrageous claim. If Africans have such low IQs… explain Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan.

  4. mooiness

    starry: yeah I mean if he wanted to say that his was an academic theory, then present the research to back it and have his peers look through it. And I think he was speaking in a field that he’s not an expert in anyway.

    Re: Africans – Yeah it’s hard to believe that in this modern age that someone would still hold on to a belief that’s at least 2 centuries old and completely baseless in facts.

  5. CW

    I happened to catch an interview of that prof with Ray Martin on A Current Affair. Not that A/Prof Fraser had any credibility with me to begin with, but I thought he really showed the sophistication in his racism when he told Ray Martin that he objected to immigration because he didn’t like going to Westfield Paramatta (shopping centre) and seeing all those people there, Africans, Asians and so on, who not only look different, but think differently than he does! I think he was inferring that us dirty non-whites have primitive thought processes and values – but I really wished I could point out to him that just because a person looks like you doesn’t mean they think like you or agree with you…

    What a sad man. And the saddest part is that 85% of viewers of the show rang in to agree with him. I think people really fear the unknown. I remember back in high school where I would be the only “Asian” in class, listening to my classmates spouting anti-Asian nonsense – when I pointed out what the stupidity of their comments and hello I am “Asian” too, their response was “Oh, but you’re different!” (Read “Oh but we know you”)

  6. mooiness

    cw: about your exp in school – yes that is so true. I hear the same things too.

    I don’t watch ACA normally. My parents caught it and told me about the “overwhelming” response from the viewers but then I thought: what’s the demographic for ACA anyway??? Was that response that surprising? Nope. 😉

    Hahah, god forbid that anyone should think differently – damn, that would be a real boring place to live in.


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