People with Welsh ancestry as a percentage of the population in Australia divided geographically by statistical local area, as of the 2011 census
According to the 2006 Australian census 25,317 Australian residents were born in Wales, while 113,242 (0.44%) claimed Welsh ancestry, either alone or with another ancestry.
The name Jones, which is often considered distinctively Welsh, is one of most-common surnames in Australia, accounting for over 1% of Australians, which suggests a higher rate of Welsh ancestry than indicated by self-identification.
A 1996 study gives the total ethnic strength of Welsh Australians as 243,400. This is made up by 44,100 of un-mixed origin and 683,700 of mixed origin. This would make the Welsh the fifth largest Anglo-Celtic group in Australia after the English, IrishScottish and Cornish.
It is believed that the eastern coast of Australia reminded Captain James Cook of the coast of South Wales (especially the Vale of Glamorgan coast, which he knew), hence the name he gave to it, "New South Wales". The first European colony in Australia was in New South Wales, beginning with the First Fleet of 1788. Welsh people numbered amongst these first settlers, and continued to arrive in the new colony through the British policy of penal transportation that was implemented for many criminal acts.
A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, and the Eureka Stockade rebellion in 1854 was an early expression of nationalist sentiment. Amongst its leaders was the Welsh-born ChartistJohn Basson Humffray, one of a significant group of immigrants that came over from Wales at this time.
Mass emigration from Wales to Australia got under way in the early 20th century with New South Wales and Victoria being particularly popular destinations. It is also said that around 20% of the population of New South Wales are at least partly Welsh descended. In the early twentieth-century most of the Welsh settlers were farmers, but later on there was emigration by coal miners to coalfields.