|Regions with significant populations|
|United States||94,000–200,000  |
|United Kingdom||113,000 |
|Hong Kong||90,000  |
|New Zealand||70,000 |
|Italy||30,000  |
|Lebanon||20,000–25,000  |
|Singapore||20,000 (2011) |
|France||3,000 (2011) |
|English · Other minority languages |
|Christianity ( Protestantism, Roman Catholicism), Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and other minority religions |
Australians, colloquially known as Aussies ( //), are citizens and nationals of the Commonwealth of Australia, although some dual citizens, expatriates and permanent residents may also claim Australian nationality. Home to people of many different ethnic origins, religious and national origins, the Australian culture and law does not correspond nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and loyalty to the country.[ citation needed] Australia is a multicultural society and has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 29% of the population. 
Many early settlements were penal colonies, which were home to transported convicts (who often later became ex-convicts) along with free settlers and administrators. Immigration increased exponentially from the 1850s, following a series of gold rushes. Further waves of immigration occurred after the First and Second World Wars, with many post-World War II migrants coming from Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Islands, and to a lesser degree, from Latin America and Africa. Prior to British settlement, Australia was inhabited by various indigenous peoples – Aboriginal Australians, Aboriginal Tasmanians and Torres Strait Islanders, a Melanesian people. A small percentage of present-day Australians descend from these peoples.
The development of a separate Australian identity and national character is often linked with the anti-transportation and nativist movements and the Eureka Rebellion during the colonial period and in the lead-up to Federation, as well as the period surrounding the First World War. However, Australian culture predates the federation of the Australian colonies by several decades – Australian literature, most notably the work of the bush poets, dates from colonial times. Modern Australian identity draws on a multicultural and Anglo-Celtic cultural heritage. 
The majority of Australians or their ancestors immigrated within the past four centuries, with the exception of the Indigenous population and other outer lying islands who became Australian through expansion of the country. Despite its multi-ethnic composition, the culture of Australia held in common by most Australians can also be referred to as mainstream Australian culture, a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of British and Irish colonists, settlers, and immigrants.
The Colony of New South Wales was established by the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1788, with the arrival of the First Fleet, and five other colonies were established in the early 19th century, now forming the six present-day Australian states. Large-scale immigration occurred after the First and Second World Wars, with many post-World War II migrants coming from Southern and Eastern Europe introducing a variety of elements. Immigration from the Middle East, south and east Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, and Latin America has also been having an impact.
The predominance of the English language, the existence of a democratic system of government drawing upon the British traditions of Westminster Government, Parliamentarianism and constitutional monarchy, American constitutionalist and federalist traditions, Christianity as the dominant religion, and the popularity of sports originating in (or influenced by) the British Isles, are all evidence of a significant Anglo-Celtic heritage. Australian culture has diverged significantly since British settlement. Sporting teams representing the whole of Australia have been in existence since the 1870s.
Australians are referred to as " Aussie" and " Antipodean".   Australians were historically referred to as " Colonials", "British" and " British subjects".     As a result of many shared linguistic, historical, cultural and geographic characteristics, Australians have often identified closely with New Zealanders in particular. Furthermore, elements of Indigenous, American, British, and more recent immigrant customs, languages, and religions have also combined to form the modern Australian culture. 
Until the Second World War, the vast majority of settlers and immigrants came from the British Isles, and a majority of Australians have some British or Irish ancestry. These Australians form a broad ethnic category known as Anglo-Celtic Australians. Asian Australians constitute the largest broad ethnic minority category by a large margin, at 16.15% of the population at the 2016 census.   In the 2016 Australian census, the most commonly nominated ancestries were English (36.1%), Australian (33.5%), [A] Irish (11.0%), Scottish (9.3%), Chinese (5.6%), Italian (4.6%), German (4.5%), Indian (2.8%), Greek (1.8%), and Dutch (1.6%). 
Today, Australians of Anglo-Celtic and other European descent are the majority in Australia, estimated at around 70% of the total population.    Historically, European immigrants had great influence over Australian history and society, which resulted in the perception of Australia as a Western country.  
Since soon after the beginning of British settlement in 1788, people of European descent have formed the majority of the population in Australia. The majority of Australians are of British – English, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, or Manx – and Irish ancestral origin (grouped together as " Anglo-Celtic").
Although some observers stress Australia's convict history, the vast majority of early settlers came of their own free will.  Far more Australians are descended from assisted immigrants than from convicts, the majority being British and Irish.  About 20% of Australians are descendants of convicts.  Most of the first Australian settlers came from London, the Midlands and the North of England, and Ireland.    Settlers that arrived throughout the 19th century were from all parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland, a significant proportion of settlers came from the Southwest and Southeast of England, from Ireland and from Scotland.  Anglo-Celtic Australians ( Northern European settlers from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland) have been highly influential in shaping the nation's character. By the mid-1840s, the numbers of freeborn settlers had overtaken the convict population. In 1888, 60 percent of the Australian population had been born in Australia, and almost all had British ancestral origins. Out of the remaining 40 percent, 34 percent had been born in the British Isles, and 6 percent were of European origin, mainly from Germany and Scandinavia.  In the 1840s, Scots-born immigrants constituted 12 percent of the Australian population. There were 1.3 million British migrants to Australia in the period from 1861–1914, of whom 13.5 percent were Scots. 5.3 percent of the convicts transported to Eastern Australia between 1789 and 1852 were Scots.  By 1850, there were 290,000 Aboriginal Australians. The European population grew from 0.3 percent of the population of the continent at 1800 to 58.6 percent in 1850.  Germans formed the largest non-British community for most of the 19th century.  The census of 1901 showed that 98 percent of Australians had Anglo-Celtic ancestral origins, and was considered as "more British than Britain itself".  Between 1901 and 1940, 140,000 non-British European immigrants arrived in Australia (about 16 percent of the total intake).  Before World War II, 13.6 percent were born overseas, and 80 percent of those were British.  In 1939 and 1945, still 98 percent of Australians had British/Anglo-Celtic ancestral origins.  Until 1947, the vast majority of the population were of British origin.  During the 1950s, Australia was the destination of 30 per cent of Dutch emigrants and the Netherlands-born became numerically the second largest non-British group in Australia.  In 1971, 70 percent of the foreign born were of European origin. Abolition of the White Australia Policy in 1957 by the Menzies government, often incorrectly attributed to a later Labor government, led to a significant increase in non-European immigration, mostly from Asia and the Middle East.
At the 2016 census, there were 3,514,915 nominations of ancestries classified by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as falling within the geographical categories of East Asia, Southeast Asia and Central and Southern Asia.  This represents 16.15% of persons who nominated their ancestry.  2,665,814 persons claimed one of the six most commonly nominated Asian ancestries, namely Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and Sri Lankan, at the 2016 census.  Persons claiming one of these six ancestries alone represented 12.25% of the total population who nominated their ancestry.  [B]
Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and Sri Lankan are the most commonly nominated Asian ancestries in Australia.  Chinese Australians constituted 5.6% of the Australian population and Indian Australians constituted 2.8 percent at the 2016 census.
Indigenous Australians are descendants of the original inhabitants of the Australian continent.  Their ancestors are believed to have migrated from Africa to Asia around 70,000 years ago  and arrived in Australia around 50,000 years ago.   The Torres Strait Islanders are a distinct people of Melanesian ancestry, indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands, which are at the northernmost tip of Queensland near Papua New Guinea, and some nearby settlements on the mainland. The term "Aboriginal" is traditionally applied to only the indigenous inhabitants of mainland Australia and Tasmania, along with some of the adjacent islands. Indigenous Australians is an inclusive term used when referring to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders, i.e.: the "first peoples".
Dispersing across the Australian continent over time, the ancient peoples expanded and differentiated into hundreds of distinct groups, each with its own language and culture.  More than 400 distinct Australian Aboriginal peoples have been identified across the continent, distinguished by unique names designating their ancestral languages, dialects, or distinctive speech patterns. 
In 1770, fearing he had been pre-empted by the French, James Cook changed a hilltop signal-drill on Possession Island in Torres Strait, into a possession ceremony, fabricating Britain's claim of Australia's east coast.  Eighteen years later, the east coast was occupied by Britain and later the west coast was also settled by Britain. At that time, the indigenous population was estimated to have been between 315,000 and 750,000,  divided into as many as 500 tribes[ citation needed] speaking many different languages. In the 2006 Census, 407,700 respondents declared they were Aboriginal, 29,512 declared they were Torres Strait Islanders, and a further 17,811 declared they were both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.  After adjustments for undercount, the indigenous population as of end June 2006 was estimated to be 517,200, representing about 2.5% of the population. 
In 2018, 29% of the Australian resident population, or 7,341,910 people, were born overseas. 
The Australian resident population consists of people who were born in the following countries:
|Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018) |
|Place of birth||Estimated resident population [C]|
|Mainland China [E]||651,000|
|Hong Kong SAR||100,620|
The data in the table is sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics   Note that population estimates in the table below do not include the Aboriginal population before 1961. Estimates of Aboriginal population prior to European settlement range from 300,000 to one million, with archaeological finds indicating a sustainable population of around 750,000. 
Australian citizenship did not exist before 26 January 1949. Before then, people born in Australia were British subjects. People born in Australia (including Norfolk Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island) on or after 20 August 1986 are Australian citizens by birth if at least one parent was an Australian citizen or a permanent resident at the time of the person's birth. 
Statistics do not exist as to the number of Australians who currently are dual citizens. In 2000, it was estimated to be 4 to 5 million people. 
The current Australian resident population is estimated at 25,566,000 (20 October 2019).  This does not include an estimated 1 million Australians living overseas, but it includes Australians born overseas. There are an estimated 1 million Australians (approximately 5% of the population) residing outside Australia. The Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement facilitates open migration to and from New Zealand. 
Although Australia has no official language, English has always been entrenched as the de facto national language.  Australian English is a major variety of the language with a distinctive accent and lexicon,  and differs slightly from other varieties of English in grammar and spelling.  General Australian serves as the standard dialect.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2016 census, English is the only language spoken in the home for close to 72.7% of the population. The next most common languages spoken at home are: 
A considerable proportion of first- and second-generation migrants are bilingual.
Over 250 Indigenous Australian languages are thought to have existed at the time of first European contact, of which less than 20 are still in daily use by all age groups.   About 110 others are spoken exclusively by older people.  At the time of the 2006 census, 52,000 Indigenous Australians, representing 12% of the Indigenous population, reported that they spoke an Indigenous language at home.  Australia has a sign language known as Auslan, which is the main language of about 5,500 deaf people. 
Australians have various religions and spiritual beliefs. Majority (52.1%) were Christian, while 30.1% of the population reported as having no religion, of those reporting as having religious affiliations according to the 2016 census.  As in many Western countries, the level of active participation in church worship is lower than would be indicated by the proportion of the population identifying themselves as Christian; weekly attendance at church services was about 1.5 million in 2001,  about 7% of the population (21.5 million ) that year.
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics has stated that most who list "Australian" as their ancestry are part of the Anglo-Celtic group. 
- As such, this represents the lowest possible proportion of the Australian population constituted by persons claiming an Asian ancestry as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
- Only countries with 100,000 or more are listed here.
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics source lists England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland separately although they are all part of the United Kingdom. These should not be combined as they are not combined in the source.
- In accordance with the Australian Bureau of Statistics source, this figure does not include Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, which are listed separately.
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics source lists England and Scotland separately although they are both part of the United Kingdom. These should not be combined as they are not combined in the source.
- Results – Community Survey 2013 American Fact Finder (US Census Bureau).
- "Special Feature: Australians in New York". Newyork.usa.embassy.gov.au.
- "Table 1.3: Overseas-born population in the United Kingdom, excluding some residents in communal establishments, by sex, by country of birth, January 2013 to December 2013". Office for National Statistics. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015. Figure given is the central estimate. See the source for 95 per cent confidence intervals.
"Australia's Rudd Dials Hong Kong Expats". The Wall Street Journal. 29 August 2013.
The 90,000 Australian citizens in Hong Kong—mostly ethnic Chinese..
- "Australian Federal Election Make sure you're enrolled to vote by 6pm HKT, 12 August 2013". Australian Consulate-General Hong Kong, China. 7 August 2013.
- Sam Worthington. "Anzac Day AFL match the start of big things". Stuff.co.nz.
- "Estimated Resident Population by Country of Birth - 1992 to 2014". ABS.Stat/. 26 November 2008.
- "Estimates of Australian citizens living overseas: as at December 2001" (PDF). southern-cross-group.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2008.
- "Australians in Italy: The long view". Books.publishing.monash.edu. Archived from the original on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
- "Diplomatic appointment – Ambassador to Lebanon, 8 September 2010, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade". Foreignminister.gov.au. 8 September 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014.
- " Lee Hsien Loong: Singapore in an Ever-More Connected World", Asia Society - Australia, 12 October 2012
- [ dead link]
- "Présentation de l'Australie". Diplomatie.gouv.fr. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
- "Immigrant and Emigrant Populations by Country of Origin and Destination". migrationpolicy.org. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
- "2011 Census QuickStats". Censusdata.abs.gov.au. Archived from the original on 6 November 2015.
- Tim Colebatch. "Census reveals city's changes". The Age.
- Dandy, Justine K. "Managing cultural diversity: Competing discourses in Australian multiculturalism." (2010).
- Princeton University WordNet. "Aussie". Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- Oxford Dictionaries Online, 2011. "Antipodean". Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- "The word "Colonial" as indicating Australian nationality is going out of fashion. The word "Australian" is much preferred." – F. Labilliere, Early History of the Colony of Victoria, 1878; E. Morris, Austral English, 2011, p. 11
- "Minister for Immigration Arthur Calwell when he proclaimed in his speech to parliament announcing the 1948 Nationality and Citizenship Act that 'to say one is an Australian is, of course, to indicate beyond all doubt that one is British'." – A. Haebich, Spinning the Dream: Assimilation in Australia 1950–1970, 2008, p. 67
- In 1984, "Australians became Australian citizens only, and ceased to be British subjects" Bills Digest 72, 2005–06, Australian Citizenship Bill 2005
- "Senate Committees – Parliament of Australia". Aph.gov.au.
- "About Australia: People, culture and lifestyle". Dfat.gov.au. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- "2016 Census Community Profiles: Australia". Quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
- Brewer, Marilynn B., Karen Gonsalkorale, and Andrea van Dommelen. "Social identity complexity: Comparing majority and minority ethnic group members in a multicultural society." Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 16.5 (2013): 529–544.
- McEvoy, Brian P., et al. "Geographical structure and differential natural selection among North European populations." Genome research 19.5 (2009): 804–814. "Approximately 85% of current Australians are descendants of European settlers who began arriving in 1788."
- Don Grant, Graham Seal, Australia in the World: Perceptions and Possibilities, 1994, p. 365
- Brown, Kerry (8 June 2013). "Oz's Reorientation: White papers illustrate the country's new Asia-centered priorities". Beijing Review (24). Retrieved 16 June 2017.
- "HISTORICAL RECORDS REVEAL OZ ANCESTORS OF 16 MILLION BRITS". Ancestryeurope.lu. Archived from the original on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- J. Jupp, From White Australia to Woomera: The Story of Australian Immigration, 2007, p. 16
- Sood, Suemedha. "Australia's penal colony roots". BBC.
- J. Jupp, The English in Australia, Cambridge University Press, 2004, p. 27
- R. Watts, P. Trudgill, Alternative Histories of the English Language, Routledge, 2002, p. 70
- B. Kachru, Y. Kachru, C. Nelson, The Handbook of World Englishes, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, p. 295
- C. Meierkord, Interactions across Englishes: Linguistic Choices in Local and International Contact Situations (Studies in English Language), Cambridge University Press, 2012, p. 37
- L. A history of early childhood education in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, 2009, p. 134
- "history essay – Queensland Migration Heritage Hub" (PDF).
- P. Harris, The History of Human Populations, Volume II. Migration, Urbanization and Structural Change, 2003, p. 444
- G. Leitner, Australia's Many Voices: Australian English—The National Language, 2004, p. 79
- W. Lines, Taming of the Great South Land: A History of the Conquest of Nature in Australia, 1991, p. 140
- V. Colic-Peisker, Migration, Class and Transnational Identities: Croatians in Australia and America (Studies of World Migrations), 2008, p. 72
- J. Abowd, R. Freeman, Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, 2007, p. 386
- J. Pike, Australia, 2004, p. 55, p. 75
- M. Dixson, The Imaginary Australian: Anglo-Celts and Identity, 1788 to the Present, p. 10
- "Netherlands country profile". Dfat.gov.au.
- "2016 Census Community Profiles: Australia". Censusdata.abs.gov.au. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
"About Australia:Our Country". Australian Government.
Australia's first inhabitants, the Aboriginal people, are believed to have migrated from some unknown point in Asia to Australia between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago.
- "Science Magazine: Sign In". sciencemag.org.
- "Aboriginal Australians descend from the first humans to leave Africa, DNA sequence reveals", Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
- iCommunity Newsletter. "Sequencing Uncovers a 9,000 Mile Walkabout" (PDF). illumina Inc. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- Lourandos, Harry (1997) "New Perspectives in Australian Prehistory," Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom. ISBN 0-521-35946-5.
- Horton, David (1994) The Encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History, Society, and Culture, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra. ISBN 0-85575-234-3.
- Cameron-Asn, M. (2018). Lying for the Admiralty:Captain Cook's Endeavour Voyage. Sydney: Rosenberg. p. 180–189, 190–196. ISBN 9780648043966.
- "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population". 1301.0 – Year Book Australia, 2008. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2009.
- "2914.0.55.002 – 2006 Census of Population and Housing: Media Releases and Fact Sheets, 2006". Abs.gov.au. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)
- TABLE 2. Population by sex, states and territories, 30 June 1901 onwards. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 23 May 2006. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
- TABLE 1.1. Population by sex, states and territories, 31 December 1788 onwards. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 5 August 2008.
- "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population". 1301.0 – Year Book Australia, 2002. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 20 August 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
- "Citizenship – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Dfat.gov.au.
- "Dual Citizenship in Australia (Current Issues Brief 5 2000-01)". aph.gov.au.
- Australian Official Population Clock. The Australian Official Population Clock automatically updates daily at 00:00 UTC.
- See: Australian diaspora
- "Pluralist Nations: Pluralist Language Policies?". 1995 Global Cultural Diversity Conference Proceedings, Sydney. Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 11 January 2009. "English has no de jure status but it is so entrenched as the common language that it is de facto the official language as well as the national language."
- Moore, Bruce. "The Vocabulary Of Australian English" (PDF). National Museum of Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- "The Macquarie Dictionary", Fourth Edition. The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd, 2005.
- "2071.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Reflecting Australia - Stories from the Census, 2016". Abs.gov.au. Archived from the original on 9 July 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
- "A mission to save indigenous languages". Australian Geographic. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
- "National Indigenous Languages Survey Report 2005". Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 July 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (4 May 2010). "4713.0 – Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006". Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2007). "20680-Language Spoken at Home (full classification list) by Sex – Australia". 2006 Census Tables : Australia. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "116. Commonwealth not to legislate in respect of religion". Constitution of Australia. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- "Cultural diversity in Australia". 2071.0 – Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012–2013. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 21 June 2012. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- NCLS releases latest estimates of church attendance, National Church Life Survey, Media release, 28 February 2004
- "2011 Census QuickStats - all people - usual residents". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
- Media related to People of Australia at Wikimedia Commons