Iranian Australians

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Iranian Australians
Total population
34,453 (by birth, 2011)
36,168 (by ancestry, 2011))
Regions with significant populations
New South Wales, Victoria
Australian English, Persian, Azerbaijani and other languages of Iran
Twelver Shia Islam, Irreligion, Sunni Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Bahá'í Faith, Zoroastrianism

Iranian Australians or Persian Australians are citizens of Australia whose national background or ancestry is traced from Iran.

Iran means land of Aryans. Both Iranian and Persian are used interchangeably in cultural context. For more information please read Name of Iran.


Few Iranians migrated to Victoria in the nineteenth century, with only seven recorded in the 1891 census. From 1950 to 1977, the first wave of immigration from Iran to Australia occurred, but it was relatively insignificant in terms of the number of immigrants. Annually, few thousand tourists entered Australia which only a few hundreds were immigrants during this period, mostly university students who decided to stay. The vast majority of Iran's emigrants left their homeland just after the 1979 Islamic revolution which was end of 2500 years monarchy. For the period 1978-1980, the average number of Iranians entering Australia as immigrants annually increased to more than 5,000. From the period 1980-1988, there was a strong trend of emigration to Australia. Since 2000, there has been a wave of Iranian migration to Australia, especially engineers and doctors, through skilled migration program.

Iranians speak Persian and practice the Persian culture, which includes Nowruz. Along religious lines, both Muslim and non-Muslim Iranians reside in Australia. Non-Muslim Iranians include Iranian Christians mainly Eastern Armenian, Iranian Baha'is and Iranian Zoroastrians. The Bureau of Statistics reports that "At the 2011 Census the major religious affiliations amongst Iran-born were Islam (12 686) and Baha'i (6269). Of the Iran-born, 18.4 per cent stated 'No Religion' which was lower than that of the total Australian population (22.3 per cent), and 9.4 per cent did not state a religion."

Several sources have noted estimates of Iranian Diaspora mainly left Iran since the 1979 revolution, the significant number of which currently reside in the United States and Western Europe while the community is Australia is very small. The Iranian-Australian community, in line with similar trends in Iran and other countries around the world, has produced a sizable number of individuals notable in many fields, including Law, Medicine, Engineering, Business and Fine Arts.


Large concentrations[clarification needed] of Iranian Australians live in the state of New South Wales, particularly around Sydney. There are also large concentrations in Melbourne. Smaller but also significant[clarification needed] communities can be found in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane.

In New South Wales, Hornsby, Castle Hill and Baulkham Hills are suburbs with higher number of Iranians. Persian is 4th language spoken at home in North Shore region of Sydney. Persian is an accepted language in the NSW HSC and there is a Persian school in Ryde, NSW.

In Victoria , Iranian culture is supported through the activities of organisations including the Iranian Society of Victoria and the Iranian Cultural School in East Doncaster , Vic.

Iranian Australian census[edit]

In 1991, the ABS figures revealed an Iranian population of 12,914. In 2004, 18,798 people in Australia claim to be of Iranian ancestry.[1]

By 2005, Iranian Australians had reached 24,588 with 11,536 of these residing in New South Wales.The largest populations of Iranian-Australians can be found in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, and Queensland.

Iranian Australians have founded or participated in senior leadership positions of many major companies, including many Fortune 500 and Australian branch of companies such as GE, Intel, Verizon, Motorola, and AT&T.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Khoo, Siew-Ean; Lucas, David (2004-05-24). "Australian' Ancestries" (pdf). Australian Census Analytic Program. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2008-07-20.