The Nigerian population in Australia has been increasing rapidly. The 2011 Census noted there are 4,519 Nigerian-born people in Australia. The population doubled since the previous census in 2006. The vast majority are skilled and educated, with 82.4% of the Nigerian-born aged 15 years and over possessing higher non-school qualifications, compared to 55.9% of the Australian population.
An NOIPolls survey found that 100% of Nigerians surveyed with relatives or friends living in Australia perceive Nigerians as having better living conditions in foreign countries. The only other continent with a similar response (of 100%) from Nigerians was South America.
Students have become a rapidly-growing source of Nigerian migrants to Australia. Nigeria is predicted to become one of the top 10 sources of international students for Australian universities. Australia’s streamlined visa processing for international students and its post-study work rights scheme have been given some credit for this. Many Nigerians come as engineering students planning to work in their country’s oil industry. Thus universities respected in engineering such as the University of NSW have seen massive growth in their Nigerian student numbers.
In 2015 it was noted that Nigerians are one of the newer student populations experiencing huge growth in Australia, comparable to student populations from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
One third of Nigerians in Australia live in Sydney, and one quarter reside in Melbourne. Half of Australia’s Igbo-speakers live in Sydney. There are many thousands of speakers of Nigerian languages, particularly Igbo, Yoruba and Fulfulde.
Nigerian cuisine can be found in restaurants in the more diverse Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.