Swedish Australians

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Swedish Australians
Total population
8,354 (by birth, 2011)
34,029 (by ancestry, 2011)
English · Swedish
Christian (Lutheran · Church of Sweden · Protestant)
Related ethnic groups
Swedes, Scandinavian Australians, Danish Australians, Norwegian Australians, Swedish Americans

Swedish Australians (Swedish: Svenskaustralier) are Australians with Swedish ancestry, most often related to the large groups of immigrants from Sweden in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The 2011 Census showed 34,029 people who claimed Swedish ancestry,[1] having an increase compared to those 30,375 in 2006.[2] Most Swedish Australians are Lutherans affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church.


A Swede may have been the first European to land in some spots on the Australian coast. Swedish botanist Daniel Solander and Britain's Sir Joseph Banks documented the flora and fauna of Australia on Captain James Cook's 1770 expedition to Australia.

King Gustav III of Sweden authorised the founding of a Swedish settlement in Western Australia in November 1786, but the outbreak of war with Russia the following year prevented this from taking place.[3]

The first organised immigration from Sweden took place during the years 1871-1900, when Queensland and Tasmania invited immigrants to take up farming leases. Numbers were small compared to the hundreds of thousands of Swedes who emigrated to the US. In more modern times, Australia's Swedish-descent population has been made up of farers.[citation needed]

The Swedish immigrants that arrived in recent decades settled mostly in the suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne[4] and Brisbane.[5]

Swedish Australians usually came through Sydney and a few of them actually settled in Brisbane as well. Most were Lutheran and belonged to synods now associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, including the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, although a few others in the Queensland converted to Catholicism. Theologically, they were pietistic; politically, they supported progressive causes, and prohibition.

A Swedish-Australian fraternal organisation was founded to help immigrants, who often lacked an adequate network of social services.

Many others settled in Perth in particular as well as Canberra, Newcastle and South Australia. In the west, Perth became a destination for many skilled industrial workers and Swedish centres developed in these areas.

Notable Swedish Australians[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Sweden-born Community". Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection. 19 November 2013. Archived from the original on 12 February 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  2. ^ "2006 Census Table: Australia". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2006.[dead link]
  3. ^ Robert J. King, "Gustaf III's Australian Colony", The Great Circle (Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History) vol.27, no.2, 2005, pp.3-20.
  4. ^ Lyng, J (1939) "The Scandinavians in Australia, New Zealand and the Western Pacific", Melbourne: Melbourne University Press in Association with Oxford University Press, pp. 51-59
  5. ^ Emmerson, Mark "Too remote, too primitive and too expensive: Scandinavian settlers in colonial Queensland"