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India born fastest-growing migrant group in Australia

The first set of data from the 2021 census has been released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and it shows that in 2021 more than 600,000 residents were born in India.

Australia’s national population grew by about two million people to 25.4 million since the last census. In this surge, India-born people have now overtaken people born in China (excluding SARs* and Taiwan) and New Zealand. The most common country of birth still remains Australia, followed by England.

673,352 people living in Australia have reported India as their country of birth. This is an increase of 220,000, or 47.9% per cent, since 2016.

This census took place in August 2021, during the height of Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns. According to the census, more than a million new migrants have arrived in Australia since 2017; but about 80% of them arrived before the pandemic.

David Gruen, the Chief Statistician of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, told the media:

“The census was conducted at an unprecedented time in Australia’s history and provides a unique snapshot of the population during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is different from previous censuses.”

Australia has been fast emerging as a popular destination for skilled Indians, especially from IT and engineering backgrounds.

Dr Yadu Singh, Secretary and spokesperson Federation of Indian Associations of NSW, says that the population data from the latest census once again shows that Australia continues to be an attractive place for migrants from India and South Asia. He adds:

“With increasing numbers of migrants from Hindu-majority nations like India and Nepal, it is not surprising to see the growth of migrants from the Hinduism faith (2.7% of the Australian population now, which is an increment of 55% in the last 5 years).

Dr Singh further emphasizes the need for “effective and collaborative community organizations representing and helping the social and cultural needs of various national groups.” He says:

“There is a need for a pan-South Asian organization to look after the political needs and aspirations of these communities. All of us from South Asian backgrounds can and should work together as our issues are indeed similar. It is imperative for the South Asian communities to evolve into a collaborative, loosely representative, and inclusive block in order to achieve our well-deserved and realistic representation in the politics of Australia.”


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