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.