Salvadoran Australians

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Salvadoran Australians
Total population
9,651 (by birth, 2011 Census)[1]
7,484 (by ancestry, 2011 Census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Salvadoran Spanish, English
Christianity (mostly Catholic)
Related ethnic groups
Latin American Australians, Spanish Australians, White Hispanics, Mestizos

Salvadoran Australians (Spanish: Salvadoreño-australiano) are Australians of Salvadoran descent. Salvadoran immigration to Australia was caused principally by economic and political turmoil in El Salvador.


The largest flow occurred when refugees left El Salvador during the Salvadoran Civil War in the 1980s. The first wave were former political prisoners whose immigration was facilitated by the Special Humanitarian Program in 1983. After this first group, which consisted of 75 people, another 10,000 Salvadorans arrived in Australia by 1986. Subsequent groups came—not directly from El Salvador—but from lesser-developed countries like Mexico and Costa Rica that housed Salvadoran refugees.[2] Most Salvadoran-born Australians came prior to 2001; little followed after the civil war.[3] The majority of Salvadorians that live in Australia are of white and mestizo ancestry. The majority of Salvadorans in Australia reside in Melbourne,[4](32%), followed by Brisbane, (21%), and Sydney, (18%).[5]

Census data records showed 25% of Salvadoran Australians work in managerial or professional roles. A further 23% work in production, transport and trades; 20% are labourers. Many migrants from El Salvador are skilled workers, but their lack of fluent English forced them into unskilled jobs. Over 92% speak Spanish at home, and the majority are Catholic. Evangelical born-again Christians of Salvadoran descent exist in increasing numbers.[6]

A 2006 estimation placed the Salvadorian population as high as 18,755.[7]


Many of the Salvadoran immigrants are of mixed European and Amerindian (mestizo) ancestry. Much of El Salvador is made up of mestizos, with a smaller minority of people with predominant or full European ancestry. Many can trace their roots back to Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, France, Ireland, Poland, and other European countries. Many Jews emigrated to El Salvador during World War II as refugees with the help of José Castellanos Contreras. Indigenous Salvadorans make up less then one percent of the population and are mostly of Pipil and Lenca ancestries; some are Mayan.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Government - Department of Immigration and Border Protection. "Salvadoran Australians". Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  2. ^ Jupp, James (28 October 2001). The Australian People: An Encyclopedia of the Nation, its People and their Origins: 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press. p. 642. ISBN 9780521807890.
  3. ^ "Community Information Summary El Salvador-born" (PDF). Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  4. ^ - From El Salvador to Australia Archived 2012-01-31 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ ABS Census - ethnicity
  6. ^ History of immigration from El Salvador
  7. ^ El Salvador en el Mundo (Spanish)