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Australian Americans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Australian Americans
Total population
(by birth 2000 United States Census data)
(by ancestry [1])
Regions with significant populations
West Coast (especially in California near the San Francisco and Sacramento area), Midwest, New England, Florida and Texas[1]
Australian English, Australian Aboriginal languages, American English
Roman Catholic and Protestant
Related ethnic groups
British Americans · Cornish Americans · Canadian Americans · English Americans · Scottish Americans · Scotch-Irish Americans · Welsh Americans · Irish Americans  • New Zealand Americans  • Oceanian Americans  • White Americans  • Asian Americans

Australian Americans are Americans who have Australian ancestry.[2] The first Australian Americans were settlers in Australia who then moved on to America. This group included English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish settlers in Australia who then moved to California during the Gold Rush. Immigration from Australia to the United States increased at times of economic boom, such as the Reconstruction era, and in the years following the Second World War. Many Australian citizens live in the U.S during the 21st century, including an estimated 44,000 Australians living in the city of Los Angeles alone as of 2016.


The history of the Australian American population almost follows the story of both British Americans and Irish Americans, as Australia was a British political territory at the time when they first immigrated and most of the settlers were English or Irish. The first wave of immigration from Australia to the United States came in the 1850s California Gold Rush when mostly Irish migrants who had escaped the Great Irish Famine had previously worked on the Australian goldfields. In San Francisco, the "Sydney Ducks" as they were known came into violent conflict with nativist locals.[3]

Transpacific immigration then dried up while the American Civil War took place. It picked up during the period of Reconstruction, but faltered again when Australia was hit by an economic depression in the late 1890s. Immigration to the United States peaked in the years following World War II, due to America's increased economic activity, and the exodus of 15,000 Australian war brides who married U.S. servicemen. From 1971 to 1990, more than 86,400 Australians and New Zealanders immigrated to the United States.[4]


At the 2000 U.S. Census, 60,965 Australian-born people were enumerated in the United States, of which 15,315 were citizens. Around 40% of Australian Americans had entered the United States before 1980.[5] Since 2010, a Little Australia has emerged and is growing in Nolita, Manhattan, New York City.[6] In 2016, the Australian Consulate-General estimated there were 44,000 Australians living in Los Angeles.[7]

Notable Australian Americans[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ueda, Reed (21 September 2017). America's Changing Neighborhoods: An Exploration of Diversity through Places [3 volumes]. Abc-Clio. ISBN 9781440828652.
  2. ^ Ken Cuthbertson, 2014
  3. ^ "Australian and New Zealander Americans - History, Modern era, The first Australians and New Zealanders in america". www.everyculture.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Australian and New Zealander Americans - History, Modern era, The first Australians and New Zealanders in america". www.everyculture.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Population of Australian-Americans" (PDF). census.gov. Retrieved 2022-12-23.
  6. ^ Shaun Busuttil (November 3, 2016). "G-day! Welcome to Little Australia in New York City". KarryOn. Retrieved May 24, 2019. In Little Australia, Australian-owned cafes are popping up all over the place (such as Two Hands), joining other Australian-owned businesses (such as nightclubs and art galleries) as part of a growing green and gold contingent in NYC. Indeed, walking in this neighbourhood, the odds of your hearing a fellow Aussie ordering a coffee or just kicking back and chatting are high – very high – so much so that if you're keen to meet other Aussies whilst taking your own bite out of the Big Apple, then this is the place to throw that Australian accent around like it's going out of fashion!
  7. ^ "Born Global: Los Angeles".

Further reading[edit]

  • Arrowsmith, Robyn Anne. "Australian WWII war brides in America: their memories and experiences." (2010). online
  • Cuthbertson, Ken. "Australian Americans." Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, edited by Thomas Riggs, (3rd ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2014), pp. 179–188. online
  • Moore, John Hammond, ed. Australians in America: 1876–1976 (University of Queensland Press, 1977).
  • Moore, John Hammond. Oversexed, over-paid and over here: Americans in Australia, 1941-1945 (U of Queensland Press, 1981).
  • Tyrrell, Ian. "Peripheral visions: Californian-Australian environmental contacts, c. 1850s-1910." Journal of World History (1997): 275-302. online