Australian diaspora

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Australian diaspora
Regions with significant populations
Australian diaspora598,765 (2020)[1]
 United Kingdom165,000 (2021)[2]
 United States98,969 (2019)[3]
 New Zealand75,696 (2018)[4]
 Canada21,115 (2016)[5]
 Singapore20,000 (2012)
 Thailand20,000 (2008)
 United Arab Emirates16,000 (2015) 0.17% of the UAE population
 South Korea15,222 (2019)[6]
 Hong Kong14,669 (2016)[7]
 Germany13,600 (2020)[9]
 China13,286 (2010)[10]
 Japan12,024 (2019)[11]
 Malaysia3,000 - 4,000

The Australian diaspora are those Australians living outside of Australia. It includes approximately 598,765 Australian-born people living outside of Australia,[1] people who are Australian citizens and live outside Australia, and people with Australian ancestry who live outside of Australia.

In 2020, 2.34% of the Australian population lived overseas, which is lower than most OECD countries, except the USA (0.89%) and Japan (0.64%).[1]


The diaspora was reported on in a 2003 Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) research report, "Australia's Diaspora: Its Size, Nature and Policy Implications".[12] The report argued for an Australian government policy of maintaining active contact with the diaspora.

In 2005, Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee (a standing committee) reported into the issue of Expatriate Australians and made recommendations that the "Australian Government needs to make greater efforts to connect with and engage our expatriate community".[13]

In contrast to many countries which experience a "brain drain" due to emigration, the 2003 CEDA report argued that emigration was a net positive for Australia, with the country seeing "brain circulation" as Australians added to their skills and expertise, and a "brain gain", as these skilled expatriates tended to return to Australia and new skilled immigrants arrive.[12] Between 1999 and 2003, there were seven highly educated migrants to Australia for every one highly educated Australian who was living elsewhere in countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).[14] Levels of skilled immigration to Australia reflect Government policies to "practise a selective immigration policy based on human capital criteria".[15]

Countries by Australian diaspora[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

In 2021, 165,000 Australian-born people lived in the United Kingdom.[2] The 2011 UK Census recorded 113,592 residents born in Australia in England, 2,695 in Wales,[16] 8,279 in Scotland,[17] and 1,750 in Northern Ireland.[18]

United States[edit]

In 2019, there were 98,619 Australian-born people living in the United States.[3] In 2001, the major places of residence were: 25,000 living in Los Angeles; 17,000 in San Francisco; 17,000 in Washington, D.C.; and 15,000 in New York.[19]

New Zealand[edit]

In 2018, there were 75,696 Australian-born people living in New Zealand.[4] The Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement enables Australians and New Zealanders to migrate between Australia and New Zealand without complying with usual immigration requirements.

Hong Kong[edit]

In 2016, there were 14,669 Australian-born people living in Hong Kong.[7]


In 2010, there were 13,286 Australian-born people living in Mainland China.[10]


In 2021 there were 26,000 Australian-born people living in Germany.[20] In recent years,[when?] the number of Australians living abroad in Germany has increased.

Comparison with the expatriate populations of other countries[edit]

In 2020, 2.34% of the Australian population lived overseas, which is lower than most OECD countries, except the USA (0.89%) and Japan (0.64%).

Education levels of Australian expatriates were high: 44% of Australian expatriates in other OECD countries had a high level of education.[21] Japanese expatriates had the highest proportion, with 50% having a high level of education. 49% of expatriates from the USA had a high education as did 45% of expatriates from New Zealand.[14]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c UNDESA 2020 International Migration Highlights
  2. ^ a b "Population by country of birth and nationality (Discontinued after June 2021) - Office for National Statistics".
  3. ^ a b "Explore Census Data".
  4. ^ a b "2018 Census totals by topic – national highlights (updated) | Stats NZ".
  5. ^ "Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity Highlight Tables - Immigrant population by place of birth, period of immigration, 2016 counts, both sexes, age (Total), Canada, 2016 Census – 25% Sample data". 25 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Document Viewer".
  7. ^ a b "Main Tables | 2016 Population By-census".
  8. ^,Hong%20Kong%20live%20in%20Australia.
  9. ^ UN Migrant Stock by Origin and Destination 2019
  10. ^ a b "Major Figures on Residents from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and Foreigners Covered by 2010 Population Census".
  11. ^ "在留外国人統計(旧登録外国人統計) 在留外国人統計 月次 2019年12月 | ファイル | 統計データを探す". 政府統計の総合窓口.
  12. ^ a b Hugo, Graeme; Dianne Rudd; Kevin Harris (2003). "CEDA Information Paper 80: Australia's Diaspora: Its Size, Nature and Policy Implications". CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia). Archived from the original on 20 August 2006. Retrieved 22 August 2006.
  13. ^ The Senate: Legal and Constitutional References Committee (2005). "They still call Australia home: Inquiry into Australian expatriates" (PDF). Department of the Senate, Parliament House, Canberra. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 January 2006. Retrieved 8 January 2006.
  14. ^ a b "Australian expatriates in OECD countries". 4102.0 – Australian Social Trends, 2006. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 20 July 2006. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  15. ^ Dumont, Jean-Christophe Dumont; Georges Lemaître (2005). "Counting immigrants and expatriates in OECD countries: a new perspective" (pdf (34 pages)). Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: Directorate for Employment Labour and Social Affairs, DELSA. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  16. ^ "2011 Census: Country of birth (expanded), regions in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Country of birth (detailed)" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  18. ^ "Country of Birth – Full Detail: QS206NI". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  19. ^ "Estimates of Australian Citizens Living Overseas as at December 2001" (PDF). Southern Cross Group (DFAT data). 14 February 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  20. ^ "Bevölkerung in Privathaushalten nach Migrationshintergrund im weiteren Sinn nach ausgewählten Geburtsstaaten". Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  21. ^ Notes on education levels from the ABS: (c) High level includes ISCED5A: Academic tertiary, ISCED5B: Vocational tertiary, ISCED 6: Advanced research. (d) Overall, 3% of OECD expatriates in the OECD had no information on educational attainment. These have been excluded from the total in calculating the proportion. (e) The migrant to expatriate ratio for people with a high level of education for a particular country is: the ratio of the number of migrants from other OECD countries with a high level of education living in that country, to the number of that country's expatriates with a high level of education.

Further reading[edit]

  • Graeme Hugo (13 February 2006). "An Australian Diaspora?". International Migration. 44 (1). International Organization for Migration: 105–133. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2435.2006.00357.x.
  • Graeme Hugo (2006). "Australian experience in skilled migration". In Christiane Kuptsch; Pang Eng Fong; Eng Fong Pang (eds.). Competing for Global Talent. International Labour Organization. pp. 143–145. ISBN 978-92-9014-776-3.

External links[edit]