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Are All Australians of English Descent? - Answers

Questions answered : 1066||Last updated on : December 10th, 2018 At 11:10pm (ET)
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Are All Australians of English Descent?

Map of Oceania highlighting Australia

To understand the demographics of Australia, we must first understand the history of the country. The indigenous tribes of Australia, referred to as the Aboriginal Australians, have been living on the continent for over about 40,000 years, well before the arrival of the Europeans. The Dutch, and not the British, were the first to arrive. By the late 17th century, Lieutenant James Cook had charted the eastern coast of Australia for Great Britain, and soon after (1788) a penal colony was established here.

From the establishment of the early British penal colony to becoming an independent nation (January 1st, 1901), the story of Australia is a glorious tale of gold rushes, prosperous industrialization, and growth & development. This, however, also means that people from all parts of the world migrated to Australia and made it their home. If fact according to reports from 2016, Australia takes in 200,000 permanent migrants each year. Over the past few years, the greatest numbers of migrants have come from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sudan. This means that the number of second generation Australians (Australians born to parents who were born overseas) is on the rise and it is certain that all Australians are not of English descent.

According to recent reports, the 2016 population estimate of Australia is about 22,992,654. A look at the ethnic groups in Australia will clarify the answer to our question. Only 25.69% of the population is of British origin. 25.4% claim to be of Australian descent. This means they are at least third generation Australians. There are 7.5%t people of Irish descent, 6.4% of Scottish descent, 3.3% Italian descendants, 3.2% German descendants, 3.1% Chinese descendants, and 1.4% percent of Indian descendants in Australia. Apart from this there are Greek, Dutch, and Aboriginal ancestry living in Australia. English, Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Greek, Cantonese, and Vietnamese are some of the commonly spoken languages in Australia. Protestants form the largest religious group (30 percent), Catholics (25 percent) come next, and about 22.3% Australians are either atheists or do not subscribe to any religion.

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