Chinese love affair with Australia continues, official figures show

by Ray Clancy on February 20, 2018

in Australia Immigration

The number of Chinese people moving to Australia is increasing with the latest population figures showing that there are now well over 500,000 residents born in the country.

To mark the Chinese New Year, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show there are 526,040 Australian residents born in China, up from 387,420 over the previous five years.

China and Australia Flags

(David Carillet/Shutterstock.com)

It shows that most Chinese born people live in Sydney or other parts of New South Wales, almost a quarter are studying at university and while almost half speak Mandarin at home they also speak Cantonese and English.

China remains one of the top countries of birth for Australian residents, trailing behind only Australia, England and New Zealand. Over the past 20 years, Chinese born residents have overtaken other countries of birth, such as Italy, Vietnam and Greece, highlighting changes in Australia’s migration intake.

The 2016 Census found Australia is home to more than 1.2 million people of Chinese ancestry. Of these some 41% were born in China, with Australia the second most common country of birth at 25%, ahead of Malaysia at 8% and Hong Kong at 6.5%.

Almost half of people with Chinese ancestry, some 46%, speak Mandarin at home, with the other most common languages being Cantonese spoken by 22% and English spoken by 18%.

The analysis of the figures also shows that more than half of people with Chinese ancestry, 54%, reported that they had no religion, significantly higher than the overall national figure of 30%.

Some 25% said they were Christian, while Buddhism was practised by 15% of people with Chinese ancestry. A third of Buddhists had Chinese ancestry, more than any other ancestral group.

The Australian lifestyle clearly has increasing appeal in China, with approximately half of Australian residents born in China arriving in the country since 2008.

Sydney is the most popular location with 44% Australian residents born in China living in the Greater Sydney Area. This area recorded four of the top six suburbs with the most residents born in China were Hurstville in New South Wales, Melbourne, Glen Waverly in Victoria, and Burwood, Campsie and Chatswood, all in New South Wales.

Australia’s universities also attract high numbers from China. Indeed, overall the highest number of international university students are from China and university students make up 22% of all Chinese born people in Australia.

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