Multiculturalism in Australia

If you were asked to describe an average Australian, what would they look like?

Perhaps like Hugh Jackman, Mel Gibson or Heath Ledger?  Or maybe like Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett or Kylie Minogue?

When you arrive in Australia, you’ll find that it’s something very different indeed.

For a start, 33% percent (6,163,667) of Australians were born overseas, nearly one in five (18 per cent) having arrived since the start of 2012.

And 49% of Australians were born overseas or their parents were.  Half of all Australians started as something else!

Whilst England and New Zealand are still the biggest source of new Australians, China and India has contributed 8.3% and 7.4% of the population, respectively.  So while Smith, Jones and Williams are still the most common names in the country, the seventh most-common name is Nguyen, owing to the country’s large Vietnamese community.

In 2016, more than 20% of households spoke over 300 separately languages spoken in Australian homes. More than one-fifth (21 per cent) of Australians spoke a language other than English at home.

Meanwhile, the number of people identifying as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin is on the rise, increasing from 2.5 per cent of the Australian population in 2011 to 2.8 per cent (or almost 650,000 people) in 2016.

What does this mean for travellers?

For a start, people-watching is wonderful with almost every imaginable face to be found.

You can find delicious, authentic food from all over the world everywhere you go.  Chinese and Chilean, Thai and Turkish, German and Greek, Mexican – you name it!  You’ll also find a lot of fusion food, where Australians make an untraditional change to food they know and love.

You’ll also find many of the niche activities and sports from all around the world.  If you’re Irish and want to hurl, there will be a club; if you are Brazilian and want to ginga in capoeira, you can; and if you’re German and want to celebrate Oktoberfest, well you’ll have lots of people willing to join you.

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