Asian-born Australians may soon outnumber European-born counterparts: study
The number of Asians in Australia has almost doubled in a decade, from 1.03 million in mid-2000 to 2.1 million in the middle of last year, according to government statistics.
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Mr. Kumar is from Hyderabad in India’s northwest. He recently graduated from a private college in Melbourne after arriving in Australia’s second-largest city in 2008. He is in the process of applying for residency and has been given an 18-month bridging visa while his application works its way through the system.
“It’s been good,” Kumar says of his Australian experience. “I like Melbourne, but it is very expensive. You need to get a good job to get ahead here and I have not found something in my field yet. If I can get a good job, then life can be good.”
Asian-born Australians are on the brink of overtaking their European-born counterparts for the first time in the country’s history. More than 2 million Asians now call Australia home, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The number of Asians in Australia has almost doubled in a decade, from 1.03 million in mid-2000 to 2.1 million in the middle of last year. Around half – like Kumar – have come as students, the remainder as skilled migrants or through family reunification programs.
This in a country that formerly drafted immigration policy in an effort to protect against the "yellow peril."
To be sure, Australia still battles racism.
But the raw numbers cannot be denied: The number of Chinese-born people in Australia has more than doubled from 148,000 to 380,000 in the decade to June last year. The number of Indian-born residents has more than tripled during the same period, from 96,000 to 340,000. The biggest population lives in Melbourne where they have pushed out Italians to form the largest non-Anglo community.
“Close to 1 in 10 people in Australia are born in Asia,” says Bob Birrell, a director at Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research. “There is nothing like that in other countries including the US or Canada, which are considered highly multicultural. It is a massive shift and it has happened over a very short time span.”
The ABS data measured residents, meaning not all those counted will become citizens.