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Census 2016: Milestone Passed as Australia Becomes more Asian, less European
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Census 2016: Milestone Passed as Australia Becomes more Asian, less European

Source: smh.com.au

Australians born of Australian parents will soon be a minority. 

The census shows Australia reached a "tipping point" in 2016 where only slightly more than half its residents had two Australian-born parents.

The long-term low of 50.7 per cent is a step down from 54 per cent in 2011 and 57 per cent in 2006.

More than a quarter of Australia's population in 2016 was born overseas (26.3 per cent, up from 24.6 per cent) and for the first time since colonisation, most of the overseas-born came from Asia rather than Europe.

China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia now account for more foreign-born residents than England, New Zealand and mainland Europe.

Asian immigrants are typically much younger than European immigrants, meaning that the switch to Asian immigrants is helping slow down the ageing of the population.

Only 23.5 per cent of residents identified their ancestry as Australian, down from 29 per cent in 2006. A quarter of us, 25 per cent, described themselves as English.

While English remains Australia's most used language, it is becoming less common, with 72.7 per cent of residents reporting they spoke only English at home, down from 76.8 per cent in 2011.

Mandarin is spoken by 2.2 per cent of Australians, up from 1.6 per cent, and Arabic by 1.4 per cent, up from 1.3 per cent. Vietnamese is spoken by 1.2 per cent of Australians, and Cantonese by another 1.2 per cent.

The census recorded 300 different languages, including Indigenous languages.

A record 2.8 per cent of Australians identified themselves as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, up from 2.5 per cent in 2011 and 2.3 per cent in 2006.

Although the census has been conducted every five years since 1911, it has only consistently included Indigenous Australians since 1967.

A record 15.8 per cent of the population was aged 65 and over in 2016, up from 13.2 per cent in 2006. A record 4 per cent was 85 or over.

Offsetting the extra costs of providing for the aged population was a record-low school-aged population. Only 24.8 per cent of the population was aged 19 and under in 2016, down from 26.6 per cent in 2016 and 45 per cent at the start of the 20th century.

The Bureau of Statistics counted 23.4 million Australian residents on August 9, up 1.9 million from 2011.

Adjusting the total for an estimated 1 per cent undercount and the 600,000 Australians travelling overseas, it believes Australia's population was 24.4 million on December 31, about 100,000 more than it had thought.

Melbourne is gaining on Sydney for the title of Australia's biggest population centre, growing 12.1 per cent to 4.485 million since the previous census, compared with Sydney, which grew 9.8 per cent to 4.823 million.

Darwin was Australia's fastest-growing capital city, growing by 13.5 per cent, followed by Perth, which grew by 12.5 per cent. Two-thirds of all Australians live in capital cities, and 86 per cent of migrants.

Migrants make up 28 per cent of the populations of NSW and Victoria and 32 per cent of the population of Western Australia.

They make up only 12 per cent of the population of Tasmania.

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