2021 Census results: India surpasses China in number of migrants to Australia

Dipti Ray and his family moved to Australia permanently from India in 2020.

The 36-year-old worked in Australia a decade ago but had no idea where she would end up.

“I went back to India because my family and everyone was there… I never really thought about going back to Australia,” Dipti told the ABC.

“But just after having kids, we thought we had better chances here.”

Although moving during COVID-19 presents Dipti with greater challenges, her husband and four-year-old son have happily settled in the Glen Waverley area of ​​east Melbourne.

The Dipti family is part of Australia’s thriving Indian community.

Another nearly 220,000 people said they were born in India at the last census compared to the last census in 2016, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released today (28/06).

In doing so, India overtook China and New Zealand to become the third largest country of births behind Australia and Great Britain.

And in total, more than 1 million people have migrated to Australia since the 2016 census.

Dipti says there is a large Indian community who connects with her family for cultural activities, but she also sees a wider appreciation of traditional Indian celebrations.

“There’s a lot of news about this festival – I know Diwali is a big deal,” he said.

“So it’s not just the Indian community, it’s also the Australian community that created this festival and this celebration.”

The census – a national household questionnaire conducted every five years – took place in August last year amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

The data shows that almost half of all Australians (48.2 per cent) have foreign-born parents and more than a quarter were foreign-born themselves.

This compares to 45.5 per cent of Australians in 2016 having at least one foreign-born parent.

Australians must also report up to two “descendants” – apart from the question of the country of birth.

England remained the most common ancestral root (33 percent), followed by Australia (29.9 percent), Ireland (9.5 percent), Scotland (8.6 percent), and China (5.5 percent).

The Nepalese community is growing exponentially

Another important migration trend is Nepal’s population growth, which has more than doubled since the last census.

Nepal saw the second-largest increase in the country of birth, with 67,752 additional residents.

Pranab Shrestha came to Australia in 2014 to complete his Masters in Engineering.

He ended up staying on a qualifying migrant visa.

“I had plans to return to my home country, but our family business there didn’t work out,” Pranab told ABC.

“So I figured it would be better to look for job opportunities and options for a more comfortable life.”

The latest figures from the Home Office show that since 2017, the majority of Nepalese migrants have entered Australian states and territories on qualified nomination visas and spousal visas.

Pranab says there is already a sizable Nepalese community where he lives north-west of Melbourne, but lately he has seen that community thrive.

“When we go into the stores, you hear more people speaking our language,” he said.

With his two Australian-born daughters, the 37-year-old tries to speak Nepali as much as possible.

They also practice their traditional Nepalese customs.

The transition to life in Australia was smooth for Pranab as there were systems in place to help him along the way.

“You can get a lot of information that is readily available that is enough to guide you,” he said.

Mandarin is still the most widely spoken

Although India has overtaken China as the third largest birth country, Mandarin remains the most commonly spoken language at home alongside English.

Nearly 700,000 people are reported to speak Mandarin at home, followed by Arabic at around 367,000.

Punjabi has seen its biggest 80 per cent increase since 2016, with more than 239,000 Australians now speaking the language at home.

The 2021 census data collects information on more than 250 ancestors and 350 languages.

“The information collected from the census provides important data to help plan services and support for culturally and linguistically diverse communities at the local level,” said David Gruen, Chief Statistics Officer of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“For example, by understanding the growing populations in their area, community groups can provide services in the language at a local level.”

This article was created by Helena Souisa from ABC News.

This news is a collaboration between Republika.co.id and ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Matters relating to the writing, photos, graphics, video and all content of the news are the responsibility of ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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