Australian Census 2011:what it says about India & Indians in Australia!

I was waiting for the latest Census 2011 data. This is out today. It has some very interesting information.

  • There are a total of 21,507,717 people in Australia.
  • 26% people were born overseas and 20% had one parent born overseas.
  • Top 10 counties by birth of migrants include India at 4th spot [295400 people]. UK, NZ, China are higher.
  • People of Asian background by birth have moved up in proportion of people born overseas [33% in 2011 Vs 24% in 2001].
  • Before 2007, UK was the top source of migrants but India is the top source of migrants in 2007-11. India now contributes 13.1% of migrants [2007-11] compared to 12% from UK. Most of the top 10 countries from where migrants are arriving from are Asian countries.
  • 47% of all Indians in Australia are Indians who have arrived in recent years [2007-11]. Corresponding numbers for Chinese is 35.
  • 200,000 Indians have arrived in Australia between 2001-11. Corresponding numbers are 176,200 and 127,700 for Chinese and New Zealanders respectively.
  • 98 males for 100 females in Australia but numbers skewed adversely for Nepalese [144 Males for 100 females], Afghanistani people [143 males for 100 females] and Pakistani people [143 males for 100 females].
  • 390900 [2%] people have identified their ancestry as Indian ancestry, compared to 866000 [4%] for Chinese ancestry. This number may be an underestimate as some second and third generation people of Indian ancestry may have identified themselves as from “Australian ancestry”.
  • Among those who identified as of Indian ancestry, 61% were born in India, 20% in Australia and 19% in other countries.
  • Among those who identified their ancestry as Indian, only 12.9% had one more ancestry, compared to much higher proportions from other groups. This means that marriages outside Indian segment is much less common. One explanation is that Indian community is a newer community in Australia. It is likely to change in years/decades.
  • Indian ancestry numbers may be an underestimate as a section of Indian community ran a campaign before Census to identify themselves as “Punjabi” ancestry, not Indian ancestry.
  • 61% people follow Christianity in 2011 compared to 68% in 2001 and 96% in 1911.
  • Non-Christian faiths have grown from 4.9% [900,000 people] to 7.2% [1.5 millions] between 2001 to 2011.
  • Buddhism is the commonest non-Christian religion [2.5%], followed by Islam [2.2%] and Hinduism [1.3%].
  • Hinduism had the fastest growth. It grew 189% between 2001 to 2011. 275000 people identify themselves as Hindu now. 275000 Hindus from a total of 391000 people with Indian heritage means Hindus constitute 70% of total number of Australians of Indian ancestry.
  • Growth of Islam and Buddhism have been 69% [476,300 people] and 48% [529000 people] in the last decade.
  • “No religion” category grew too from 15% to 22% between 2001 to 2011.
  • Over half [56%] people born overseas are Christian.
  • Hindi is one of the Top 10 language, other than English, spoken by people at home. 104900 people [0.5%] speak Hindi at Homes. Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese and Vietnamese are spoken by more Australians. Hindi is the only Indian language among the top 10 languages in Australia. Punjabi language is spoken by Punjabi sub-segment of Indian community significantly but I am not completely clear about the comparison between Hindi and Punjabi languages. There is some confusion about it. It is however safe to say that Hindi is the only Indian language in the Top 10 languages in Australia. I will study this data more carefully and will seek clarifications.
  • Among those who speak Hindi, 80.2% speak English very well.

My take is that increasing numbers of  young and highly trained Indians are choosing to migrate to Australia. This is despite a negative campaign against Australia, which was run by a segment of Indian media in recent years. It proves that Australia is a fantastic place to live, work and settle. Indians have rejected Indian media’s campaign to create a false characterisation of Australia as a racist nation.

One could argue that India is losing so many well-trained young people but I doubt it is a relevant factor anymore. There is unemployment and under-employment in India, which is made much worse by perpetual, if not permanent, reservation system which reserves 50% jobs/training positions and even promotion opportunities to people who have been historically discriminated.  India’s so-called loss is Australia’s gain. Australia should continue to attract and accept skilled migrants from all over the world.

Indian Australian community has grown significantly in recent years and will continue to grow in coming years. There is an urgent need to network this community [particularly newer migrants] for mentoring/guidance in regards to settlement issues and integration in the Australian community, and also pastoral care, when needed.

Indian community associations and leaders need to analyse how they can provide guidance to newer migrants, when such guidance and mentoring become necessary.

One does not need to be an Einstein to predict that Indian Australian community will achieve increasing importance in Australian politics. They will constitute significant proportions in many constituencies. I predict, and in fact hope, that some “good” people from amongst us will enter Australian Parliaments and Local Councils within next 5 years.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/21st June, 2012

25 thoughts on “Australian Census 2011:what it says about India & Indians in Australia!

  1. Migrants, particularly from India, come to Australia with valid visa, via skills assessment. They have the skills which Australia needs and give strong focus on education, job and family. They are law abiding and fit well in Australia. I have the view that Indian migrants are the perfect example of Australia’s successful migration programme.


  2. I don’t think it means Australia is a great place to live, it just re-iterates that India is the armpit of the world and Indians would prefer to live anywhere (and let’s face it they’re EVERYWHERE – in the West and beyond) other than India.


      • Of course Australia is a great place to live. That wasn’t what I was trying to say. Any developed nation is better than the struggles many people experience living in the third world, this ‘absolutely’ includes India. If India had the rich quality of life (by comparison) experienced in Western countries, there would be ‘little to none’ living here. Let’s keep it real, that’s why so many Indian student’s parents take out loans to get their children here. The student then works long hours to pay off the loan, whilst studying, with the hope to secure permanent residency. Japanese nationals (another rich developed nation) don’t do this, they often return to Japan. Their intention was to study here only. Good luck living here however, I apreciate anyone wanting to (legally) better their life. I for one as a Westerner, would not consider India as a place to work or call home.


      • Peter, Why did British and other Europeans invaded Aus and NZ?
        same reason mate. India has more people that it needs, It is exporting human resource. people move between cities for work. Moving between countries is not a big deal.

        Moreover, Europe is the only ethnic white land. Can you explain why white race invaded N America, S America, South Africa, Australia, NZ?
        Now all the countries look the same. Same Mc donalds, supermarkets, roads, same language.

        What goes around comes around. 19 and 20th Century belonged to Whites. now its Asians century. who know it will be Africans after that.


  3. It might also be noted Yadu that while not approving of the comments that you were responding to,”that miserable place” has been made home by well over a million and a half Indians 🙂


  4. Welcome to new arrivals from India to Australia.But it might be healthy for Indians to note that to date Indians have never successfully managed a nation.Corruption lies at the heart of corporate India,and seems to permeate the daily lives of the average citizen.We have much to learn from our new citizens from India but it might also be said that they in turn have much to learn from us.It may be worth considering that as Indian-Australians consider a career in our politics.It’s not also true that Australian society/politics doesn’t have dishonesty issues of it’s own.But we DO have the apparatus and the resolve to deal with it as it is uncovered and not let it become endemic in our society.


    • Btw, great blog! Indians are hard working model immigrants and I think it’s great that more are deciding to study and live here.


      • Personally, I’d like to see a more balanced representation of migrants in Australia. Just because Indians are “supposedly” hard working doesn’t mean other nationals who are equally hard working and potentially more deserving of permanent residency here, they shouldn’t be overlooked. Interesting how Australia seeks “mass migration” from the third world??!! I don’t think skilled migrants from any country, (but mostly from the Asian region, where migrants are more grateful to the government for their permanent residency) realise that to the Australian Government you are a “commodity” (a wage slave), brought here to increase government tax revenue and then carefully manipulated for your election votes! Most migrants from Asia are too busy focused on the “carrot” dangled in their face. “Australia. Developed Nation. Land of Milk and Honey. Wealth. Lifestyle. Medicare. Quality Lifestyle.


      • It is the same in Asian countries. Same level of taxes same carrots, vote bank. Some some it could be even worse. At least the western countries milk its people systematically and sophisticated way in form of taxes and more taxes and Gst and some more taxes. In third world countries the governments openly loot the public. Its good for Ignorant people in western countries they don’t know what’s happening to them.


  5. It would be interesting to get stats on people speaking other Indian languages at Home ( Like Tamil. Telugu, Punjabi, Bengalim Gujarati etc ) and add them togather and compare that to stats on people who mentioned India as country of ancestry. We should also see howmany Have written Fiji as their country of ancestry. We can safely assume about 50% of them are of Indian origin if not all. In fact we can try to get stats on people speaking HIndi and are of Fijian ancestry. I think after the coup in Fiji mostly people of Indian origin migarted to countries like Australia. I think very small percentage of native FIjian would have migrated to Australia. ..Kamlesh


  6. That was really fantastic.but it was disturbing to read a few wanted themselves to be called punjabis than Indians .our security and respect comes from being called as Indians rather than punjabi or Tamil etc


  7. Dear Yadu
    As usual you are the first and most vigilant Indian to keep abreast with the latest . Thanks for this concised and significant information Regards Shailja


    • 391000 people have Indian ancestry, 70% of whom are Hindus. I suspect there are more people who are of Indian heritage in Australia. A segment from our community wanted people to write “Punjabi” as the ancestry instead of “Indian”. Let us see how many are identified as “Punjabi” ancestry. We will need to add these two numbers.


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