Census 2021 results: Our changing migration nation

“We’ve seen the largest increase in country of birth outside of Australia being India, with 220,000 additional people counted, making India now the second-highest overseas-born population after England … leapfrogging China and New Zealand,” she said on Tuesday.

It takes the total number of people born in India and living in Australia to 673,350.

The population born in Nepal had more than doubled since the last census, Dickinson said, rising to 122,500 in 2021.

“This change can be seen with Nepali being one of the top-five languages now in Canberra and Tasmania,” Dickinson said.

The increase in migration from southern Asia is also reflected in the changing religious beliefs of Australia: Hinduism, the dominant religion in Nepal and India, has grown by 55.3 per cent to be followed by 2.7 per cent of the population.

Unlike the large numbers of continental Europeans, including people from Croatia and Germany, that drove the post-war migration boom in Australia, there were no Nepali migrants recorded by the ABS in the 1950s, and fewer than 50 in the 1970s. But in the first decade of this century, nearly 24,200 people born in Nepal were in Australia, while 93,600 moved here in the 2010s.

Similarly, there were few migrants from India in the 1950s, but that number has grown from 10,600 in the 1970s, to 37,200 in the 1990s, 210,300 in the 2000s and nearly 370,600 in the 2010s.

The recent surge in migration from those countries is reflected in the ages of those populations. The majority of them are young: 62 per cent of those born in India were aged between 25 and 44 in 2021, while more than two in three of the people born in Nepal were aged between 25 and 44 at the time of the census and one in four were aged 15 to 24.

Thirty-six per cent of the Indian-born population lives in greater Melbourne. Melbourne also has a higher proportion of people born in Greece (49 per cent) and Italy (36 per cent).

The number of migrants from the Philippines has also soared, from 69,250 in the 2000s to 122,800 last decade. The vast majority (more than 91,300) live in Sydney, while 43 per cent of the 549,600 people born in China also live in the Greater Sydney region.

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