Census data shows typical Australian is a woman aged 37, with two kids

by Ray Clancy on April 26, 2013

in General Information

Census data shows typical Australian is a woman aged 37, with two kids

Census data shows typical Australian is a woman aged 37, with two kids

People in Australia come from more than 200 countries, speak over 300 languages at home, belong to more than 100 different religious groups, and work in more than 1,000 different occupations, an analysis of the latest available Census figures shows.

Despite many people’s image of the typical Australian being male, the average Australian is in fact a woman, aged 37, born in Australia and with both of her parents also born in Australia. She has English, Australian, Irish, or Scottish ancestry. She speaks only English at home and belongs to a Christian religion, most likely Catholic. She is also married, and lives with her husband and two children, a boy and a girl aged nine and six. Home is a detached house with three bedrooms and two cars in a suburb of one of Australia’s capital cities. They have lived in that house for at least five years, and have a mortgage where they pay $1,800 a month.

The average Australian also has a Certificate in Business and Management and drives to her job as a sales assistant, where she works 32 hours a week. She also does unpaid work around the house for five or more hours a week.

The Census data reveals a lot about the country’s long history of immigration. In 2011, nearly three quarters of people, 74%, were born in Australia, and more than half, 54%, had both their parents born in Australia. In 1911, 83% of people were born in Australia and this increased at every Census until the 1947 Census when it reached 90%. After this point, with the increase in immigration following the end of World War II, the proportion of people born in Australia has steadily fallen.

Quote from AustraliaForum.com : “A poll carried out by the Australia forum, a forum for expats looking to move to Australia, which took in 1,001 votes, has confirmed that the majority of expats looking to move to Australia are targeting household incomes in excess of AU$100,000. As the European and North American economies continue to struggle it seems that Australia is becoming an ever stronger magnet for expats around the world.”

The proportion of people that were born in Australia is far from uniform across Australia, with some areas having a higher proportion of people born overseas. In the five mainland state capitals, 34% of people were born overseas, while in rural areas and towns of under 10,000 people, only 12% of people were born overseas. While the overall proportion of people born overseas is increasing relatively slowly, particular groups have shown substantial increases in recent years. The largest numerical increases between 2001 and 2011 came from India, increasing from 95,000 in 2001 to 295,000 in 2011, and China increasing from 143,000 in 2001 to 319,000 in 2011.

The largest single group of people born overseas continues to be those born in the UK, making up 5% of Australia’s population and 21% of all overseas born living in Australia. However amongst people that arrived in Australia after 2006 the top position is held by India – people born in the UK made up 12% of recent arrivals, while people born in India made up 13%. One of the fastest growing groups in recent years has been people born in Nepal. In 2011 there were 24,600 people born in Nepal, up from just 2,600 in 2001 and 4,600 in 2006, a five-fold increase in just five years.

Australians come from a large number of different cultural and ethnic groups. However, the most commonly reported ancestry was English at 36%, ahead of Australian at 35%, Irish 10% and Scottish 9%. The average Australian only speaks English at home and in 2011, 81% of people reported only speaking English at home, down slightly from 86% in 1986. Nevertheless, in 2011, nearly one in five people spoke a language other than English at home.

The most common language other than English spoken at home in Australia is now Mandarin, spoken by 1.6% of people, taking the top spot from Italian. The most widely spoken languages other than English have changed significantly in recent years. In 1986 the most common languages other than English spoken at home were Italian and Greek. More recently the number of Chinese speakers has quadrupled and the number of Arabic and Vietnamese speakers has also increased substantially, though not to anywhere near the extent of Chinese languages.

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