Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the
citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and t ...

nationals Nationals may refer to: * People of a given nationality * A tournament or convention of national scope * Washington Nationals, a Major League Baseball team based in Washington, DC * Potomac Nationals, a former minor league baseball team in Woodbrid ...
and individuals associated with the country of
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

. Between 1788 and the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the vast majority of settlers and immigrants came from the
British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north-western coast of continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
), although there was significant immigration from
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...
during the 19th century. Many early British settlements were
penal colonies A penal colony or exile colony is a settlement used to exile prisoners and separate them from the general population by placing them in a remote location, often an island or distant colonial territory. Although the term can be used to refer t ...
to house transported convicts.
Immigration Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective ident ...
of "free settlers" increased exponentially from the 1850s, following
a series of gold rushes A, or a, is the first Letter (alphabet), letter and the first vowel letter of the English alphabet, modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is English alphabet#Letter names, ''a'' (pronounced ), plural En ...
. In the decades immediately following the Second World War, Australia received a
large wave of immigration Large means of great size. Large may also refer to: Mathematics * Arbitrarily large, a phrase in mathematics * Large cardinal, a property of certain transfinite numbers * Large category, a category with a proper class of objects and morphisms (or ...
from across
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...
, with many more immigrants arriving from
Southern The name Southern may refer to: * South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earl ...

Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical reg ...

Eastern Europe
than in previous decades. Since the end of the
White Australia policy The White Australia policy is a term encapsulating a set of historical policies that aimed to forbid people of non-European ethnic origin, especially Asians Asian people (or Asiatic people)United States National Library of Medicine. Med ...
in 1973, Australia has pursued an official policy of multiculturalism and has the world's List of sovereign states and dependent territories by immigrant population, eighth-largest Immigration to Australia, immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 30 percent of the population in 2019. A Immigration to Australia, large and continuing wave of immigration to Australia from across the world has continued into the 21st century, with Asian Australians, Asia now being the largest source of immigrants. A smaller proportion are descended from Australia's Indigenous Australians, indigenous peoples, comprising Aboriginal Australians, Aboriginal Tasmanians and Torres Strait Islanders. The development of a separate Australian identity and national character began in the 19th century, linked with the Australasian Anti-Transportation League, anti-transportation and Australian nationalism, nativist movements and the Eureka Rebellion during the colonial period and culminated in Federation of Australia, the federation of the Australian colonies in 1901. The primary language is Australian English, and Australian culture and Australian literature, literature have historically developed from Anglo-Celtic Australians, Anglo-Celtic and Western traditions.


The majority of Australians or their Immigration to Australia, ancestors immigrated within the past four centuries, with the exception of the Indigenous Australians, indigenous population and others from outlying islands who became Australian through expansion of the country. Despite its multi-ethnic composition, the culture of Australia held in common by most Australians can also be referred to as mainstream Australian culture, a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of British and Irish colonists, settlers, and immigrants. The Colony of New South Wales was established by the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1788, with the arrival of the First Fleet, and five other colonies were established in the early 19th century, now forming the six present-day Australian states and territories, Australian states. Large-scale immigration occurred after the First and Second World Wars, with many post-World War II migrants coming from
Southern The name Southern may refer to: * South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earl ...

Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical reg ...

Eastern Europe
introducing a variety of elements. Immigration from the Middle East, Asian Australians, south and east Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, and Latin America has also been having an impact. The predominance of the English language, the existence of a democratic system of government drawing upon the British traditions of the Westminster system of government, Parliamentarianism and Monarchy of Australia, constitutional monarchy, American constitutionalism, constitutionalist and federalism, federalist traditions, Christianity as the dominant religion, and the popularity of sports originating in (or influenced by) the British Isles, are all evidence of a significant Anglo-Celtic heritage. Australian culture has diverged significantly since British settlement. Sporting teams representing the whole of Australia have been in existence since the 1870s. Australians are referred to as "Aussie" and are may be referred to as "Antipodes, Antipodean" by those in the northern hemisphere. Prior to the introduction of Australian citizenship, Australians had the status of "British subjects". As a result of many shared linguistic, historical, cultural and geographic characteristics, Australians have often identified closely with New Zealanders in particular. Furthermore, elements of Australian Aboriginal culture, Indigenous, American culture, American, British culture, British, and more recent immigrant customs, languages, and religions have also combined to form the modern Australian culture.


In the 2016 Australian census, the most commonly nominated ancestries were:


Today, Australians of European (including Anglo-Celtic Australians, Anglo-Celtic) descent are the majority in Australia, estimated at approximately 76% of the total population in 2016.McEvoy, Brian P., et al. "Geographical structure and differential natural selection among North European populations." Genome research 19.5 (2009): 804–814. "Approximately 85% of current Australians are descendants of European settlers who began arriving in 1788." Historically, European immigrants had great influence over Australian history and society, which resulted in the perception of Australia as a Western world, Western country. Since soon after the beginning of History of Australia (1788–1850), British settlement in 1788, people of European descent have formed the majority of the population in Australia. Although some observers stress Australia's convict history, the vast majority of early settlers came of their own free will. Far more Australians are descended from assisted immigrants than from convicts, the majority being British and Irish. About 20 percent of Australians are descendants of convicts. Most of the first Australian settlers came from London, the The Midlands, England, Midlands and the Northern England, North of England, and Ireland. Settlers that arrived throughout the 19th century were from all parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland, a significant proportion of settlers came from the South West England, Southwest and Southeast England, Southeast of England, from Ireland and from Scotland. Anglo-Celtic Australians have been highly influential in shaping the nation's character. By the mid-1840s, the numbers of freeborn settlers had overtaken the convict population. In 1888, 60 percent of the Australian population had been born in Australia, and almost all had British ancestral origins. Out of the remaining 40 percent, 34 percent had been born in the British Isles, and 6 percent were of European origin, mainly from Germany and Scandinavia. In the 1840s, Scots-born immigrants constituted 12 percent of the Australian population. There were 1.3 million British migrants to Australia in the period from 1861 to 1914, of whom 13.5 percent were Scots. 5.3 percent of the convicts transported to Eastern Australia between 1789 and 1852 were Scots. By 1850, there were 290,000 Aboriginal Australians. The European population grew from 0.3 percent of the population of the continent at 1800 to 58.6 percent in 1850. Germans formed the largest non-British community for most of the 19th century. The census of 1901 showed that 98 percent of Australians had Anglo-Celtic ancestral origins, and was considered as "more British than Britain itself". Between 1901 and 1940, 140,000 non-British European immigrants arrived in Australia (about 16 percent of the total intake). Before World War II, 13.6 percent were born overseas, and 80 percent of those were British. In 1939 and 1945, still 98 percent of Australians had British/Anglo-Celtic ancestral origins. Until 1947, the vast majority of the population were of British origin. During the 1950s, Australia was the destination of 30 per cent of Dutch people, Dutch emigrants and the Netherlands-born became numerically the second largest non-British group in Australia. In 1971, 70 percent of the foreign born were of European origin. Abolition of the White Australia Policy in 1957 led to a significant increase in non-European immigration, mostly from Asia and the Middle East.


At the 2016 census, there were 3,514,915 nominations of ancestries classified by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as falling within the geographical categories of East Asia, Southeast Asia and Central and Southern Asia.https://guest.censusdata.abs.gov.au/webapi/jsf/tableView/tableView.xhtml# This represents 16.15 percent of persons who nominated their ancestry.http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/censushome.nsf/4a256353001af3ed4b2562bb00121564/f31b4dddfa48a2a8ca257a75002adec8!OpenDocument 2,665,814 persons claimed one of the six most commonly nominated Asian ancestries, namely Chinese Australians, Chinese, Indian Australians, Indian, Filipino Australians, Filipino, Vietnamese Australians, Vietnamese, Korean Australians, Korean and Sri Lankan Australians, Sri Lankan, at the 2016 census. Persons claiming one of these six ancestries alone represented 12.25 percent of the total population who nominated their ancestry. Chinese Australians, Chinese, Indian Australians, Indian, Filipino Australians, Filipino, Vietnamese Australians, Vietnamese, Korean Australians, Korean and Sri Lankan Australians, Sri Lankan are the most commonly nominated Asian ancestries in Australia. Chinese Australians constituted 5.6 percent of the Australian population and Indian Australians constituted 2.8 percent at the 2016 census.


Indigenous Australians are descendants of the original inhabitants of the Australia (continent), Australian continent. Their ancestors are believed to have migrated from Africa to Asia around 70,000 years ago and arrived in Australia around 50,000 years ago."Aboriginal Australians descend from the first humans to leave Africa, DNA sequence reveals"
''Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)''.
The Torres Strait Islanders are a distinct people of Melanesian ancestry, indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands, which are at the northernmost tip of Queensland near Papua New Guinea, and some nearby settlements on the mainland. The term "Aboriginal" is traditionally applied to only the Aboriginal Australians, indigenous inhabitants of mainland Australia and Tasmania, along with some of the adjacent islands. ''Indigenous Australians'' is an inclusive term used when referring to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders, i.e.: the "first peoples". Dispersing across the Australian continent over time, the ancient peoples expanded and differentiated into hundreds of distinct groups, each with its own language and culture.Lourandos, Harry (1997) "New Perspectives in Australian Prehistory," Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom. . More than 400 List of Indigenous Australian group names, distinct Australian Aboriginal peoples have been identified across the continent, distinguished by unique names designating their Ancestor, ancestral languages, dialects, or distinctive speech patterns. In 1770, fearing he had been pre-empted by the French, James Cook changed a hilltop signal-drill on Possession Island (Queensland), Possession Island in Torres Strait, into a possession ceremony, fabricating Britain's claim of Australia's east coast. Eighteen years later, the east coast was occupied by Britain and later the west coast was also settled by Britain. At that time, the indigenous population was estimated to have been between 315,000 and 750,000, divided into as many as 500 tribes speaking many different languages. At the 2016 census, 649,171 people (2.8% of the total population) identified as being Indigenous Australians, Indigenous — Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. Indigenous Australians experience higher than average rates of imprisonment and unemployment, lower levels of education, and life expectancies for males and females that are, respectively, 11 and 17 years lower than those of non-indigenous Australians. Some remote Indigenous communities have been described as having "failed state"-like conditions.

Country of birth

In 2019, 30% of the Australian resident population, or 7,529,570 people, were born overseas. The Australian resident population consists of people who were born in the following countries: For more information about immigration see Immigration to Australia and Foreign-born population of Australia.

Historical population

The data in the table is sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics The population estimates do not include the Aboriginal population before 1961. Estimates of Aboriginal population prior to European settlement range from 300,000 to one million, with archaeological finds indicating a sustainable population of around 750,000.


Australian citizenship did not exist before 26 January 1949. Before then, people born in Australia were British subjects. People born in Australia (including Norfolk Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island) on or after 20 August 1986 are Australian citizens by birth if at least one parent was an Australian citizen or a permanent resident at the time of the person's birth. Statistics do not exist as to the number of Australians who currently are dual citizens. In 2000, it was estimated to be 4 to 5 million people.

Current population

The current Australian resident population is estimated at ( ). This does not include an estimated 1 million Australians living overseas, but it includes Australians born overseas. There are an estimated 1 million Australians (approximately 5 percent of the population) residing outside Australia. The Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement facilitates open migration to and from New Zealand.



Although Australia has no official language, English has always been entrenched as the ''de facto'' national language. "English has no de jure status but it is so entrenched as the common language that it is de facto the official language as well as the national language." Australian English is a major variety of the language with a distinctive accent and lexicon, and differs slightly from other varieties of English in grammar and spelling."The Macquarie Dictionary", Fourth Edition. The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd, 2005. General Australian serves as the standard dialect. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2016 census, English is the only language spoken in the home for close to 72.7 percent of the population. The next most common languages spoken at home are: *Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin (2.5 percent) *Arabic language, Arabic (1.4 percent) *Cantonese (1.2 percent) *Vietnamese language, Vietnamese (1.2 percent) *Italian language, Italian (1.2 percent). A considerable proportion of first- and second-generation migrants are bilingual. Over 250 Indigenous Australian languages are thought to have existed at the time of first European contact, of which less than 20 are still in daily use by all age groups. About 110 others are spoken exclusively by older people. At the time of the 2006 census, 52,000 Indigenous Australians, representing 12 percent of the Indigenous population, reported that they spoke an Indigenous language at home. Australia has a sign language known as Auslan, which is the main language of about 5,500 deaf people.


Australia has no official religion; its Constitution of Australia, Constitution prohibits the government from establishing one, or interfering with the freedom of religion. Australians have various religions and spiritual beliefs. Majority (52.1 percent) were Christianity in Australia, Christian, while 30.1 percent of the population reported as having no religion, of those reporting as having religious affiliations according to the . As in many Western countries, the level of active participation in church worship is lower than would be indicated by the proportion of the population identifying themselves as Christian; weekly attendance at church services was about 1.5 million in 2001, about 7% of the population (21.5 million) that year.

See also

*Australian Americans *Australians in Italy *Australians in Greece *Australians in Turkey *Australians in China *Australians in India *List of Prime Ministers of Australia



External links

* {{Authority control Australian people, Ethnic groups in Australia Demographics of Australia Indigenous peoples of Australia Australian society