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Guest Cerberus1

Where to migrants live?

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Guest Cerberus1

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently published: Australian Social Trends, 2014 which used the census data to look at where migrants in Australia live.


The Sydney section of the report is below.


As the city with the largest overseas-born population in Australia, Sydney is an important entry point for many new arrivals to the country. Sydney is not only home to a number of established migrant communities, but also hosts a number of higher education institutions and businesses which draw in overseas migrants.5


In 2011, migrants tended to be most concentrated around a number of key urban centres in Sydney. In the inner city, a large majority of residents in the suburbs of Haymarket (88%), Sydney CBD (78%) and Ultimo (72%) were born overseas. Many of the migrants living in these suburbs were young students: in 2011, around one in every three people living in Haymarket and Ultimo was an international student attending University, TAFE or other further education institutions in Australia.


To the west, high concentrations of people born overseas were found in Parramatta (70%) and surrounding suburbs like Harris Park (76%) and Westmead (68%). In the inner west nearer Sydney Olympic Park, Rhodes and Homebush West (both 73%) also had large concentrations of migrants, as did Burwood (68%).


In the south west, suburbs with relatively large populations of migrants included Cabramatta (68%) and Fairfield (66%). These suburbs differed from others mentioned in that overseas-born residents tended to be more established in the community. The median length of residence in Australia for migrants living in Cabramatta was 19 years in 2011, more than three times that of migrants living in Haymarket (4 years), Harris Park (5 years), Parramatta or Rhodes (both 6 years).


Other suburbs in Sydney with notable overseas-born populations in 2011 included Campsie (69%) in the Canterbury-Bankstown area, and Hurstville (67%) and Wolli Creek (68%) further south.


The following map shows the proportion of overseas-born people in each suburb in Sydney.




Who are Sydney's largest migrant groups?



Patterns of settlement in Sydney by country of birth



The United Kingdom

Migrants born in the UK were the largest overseas-born group living in Sydney. In 2011, there were 155,000 UK-born migrants living in Sydney, comprising 4.2% of Sydney's total population.


While other large migrant population groups tended to be more concentrated in southern and western suburbs of Sydney, the suburbs where UK migrants made up the largest proportion of the population were found in Sydney's north. These included Manly (16%), Fairlight (15%), and Queenscliff (14%), and suburbs around Pittwater such as Church Point (13%), Bayview (13%), and Scotland Island (12%).



Migrants born in China were the second largest overseas-born population group in Sydney, at 4% of Sydney’s total population in 2011 (147,000 people).


Sydney suburbs where Chinese-born migrants made up the largest proportion of the population included Hurstville (36%), Rhodes (29%), Burwood (28%) and Allawah (24%) in the city's south and west. In the city centre, Ultimo and Haymarket also had relatively large populations of Chinese-born migrants (both 22%).



Indian-born migrants were the third largest population group in Sydney (87,000 people in 2011 or 2.4% of Sydney’s total population).


Suburbs where Indian-born migrants were most densely concentrated tend to be situated in the wider Parramatta area including Harris Park (43%), Westmead (32%), and Parramatta (24%). Nearby suburbs of Wentworthville (19%), Girraween (17%), and Rosehill (16%) also had large proportions of their population born in India.


In the last decade, the proportion of the population of Harris Park born in India more than tripled from 14% to 43% (an increase from 500 to 2,000 Indian-born people between 2001 and 2011). In Westmead, the increase was even greater, from 7% in 2001 to 32% in 2011 (from 700 to 4,200 Indian-born people). These increases reflect the wider increase seen in the Indian-born population across Sydney (and Australia) during this period, with the proportion born in India growing from 1.0% to 2.4% of Sydney's population between 2001 and 2011.


New Zealand

Although comprising the fourth largest overseas-born population group in Sydney in 2011 (77,000 people or 2.1% of Sydney’s total population), migrants born in New Zealand are a dispersed population. In 2011, there was no suburb in Sydney where New Zealand-born migrants made up more than 10% of the population (compared with 38 suburbs for Chinese migrants, 36 for UK migrants, and 10 for Indian migrants).


Sydney suburbs with large concentrations of New Zealand-born migrants included Claymore (8%) towards Campbelltown, and Emerton (8%) and Tregear (6%) in the city's west. Interestingly, half of New Zealanders in Claymore and 42% of New Zealanders in Tregear reported having Samoan ancestry. Claymore and Tregear were also the suburbs with the first and third largest proportion of Samoan-born migrants in Sydney.


Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines


Countries in eastern Asia including Vietnam (69,000 migrants) and the Philippines (61,000 migrants) also contributed significantly to the overseas-born population of Sydney in 2011.


For migrants born in Vietnam, suburbs in the city's south west were most favoured, particularly Cabramatta (35%), Canley Vale (29%), Cabramatta West (28%) and Canley Heights (28%). These same suburbs also tended to be favoured by Cambodian-born migrants. Although smaller in population terms (11,000 migrants), around a third of all Cambodian-born migrants in Sydney lived in one of these suburbs in 2011.


By contrast, migrants born in the Philippines tended to be most densely concentrated in suburbs in Sydney’s outer west. These included Woodcroft, where around a quarter (24%) of the population were Filipino-born, as well as Plumpton (19%) and Rooty Hill (18%). In fact, nine of the ten Sydney suburbs with the largest proportion of people born in the Philippines in 2011 were situated in the immediate area between Blacktown and Penrith.


Other nations


While other countries of birth contribute smaller numbers of people to the overall population of Sydney, the settlement patterns of some of these groups are also strongly localised.


Lebanese-born migrants in Australia are very likely to have settled in Sydney with seven out of every ten living there in 2011. The suburbs where Lebanese migrants made up the largest proportion of the population were situated in the Bankstown area including Mount Lewis (18%), Punchbowl (16%), and Greenacre (15%). Suburbs north-west of these, such as South Granville (15%), Old Guildford (14%) and Guildford (13%), also had relatively large Lebanese-born populations.


Korean-born migrants were also a large population group in Sydney. Suburbs where Korean-born migrants made up the largest proportion of the population were in the area around Olympic Park, including Rhodes (13%), Newington (12%) and Liberty Grove (11%). Meadowbank (11%) on the other side of the Parramatta river also had a comparatively large Korean-born population.


Migrants born in Italy, on the other hand, tended to be concentrated in suburbs to the city’s inner west including Haberfield (15%), Wareemba (14%), and Five Dock (10%). Italian-born migrants were also found in suburbs to Sydney's outer south-west including Austral (13%) and Horsley Park (10%).


For migrants born in South Africa, suburbs in the upper north shore including St Ives and St Ives Chase (both 12%) were favoured. Eastern suburbs including Dover Heights (15%) and Rose Bay (10%) were also favoured by South African-born migrants.


Iraqi-born migrants were strongly concentrated in suburbs around Fairfield. In 2011, nearly one in four residents of Fairfield Heights (24%) and Fairfield (23%) was born in Iraq. Greenfield Park (16%) nearby also had a relatively large population of Iraqi-born migrants.


For migrants born in Thailand or Indonesia, inner city suburbs of Haymarket (17% and 13% respectively) and Sydney CBD (9% and 12% respectively) were popular. Further south-west, Lakemba (15%) and Wiley Park (15%) were the suburbs with the largest population of Bangladeshi-born migrants in proportional terms.


Migrants born in Fiji are a large population group in Sydney and tended to be most concentrated in suburbs to the outer south west like Hoxton Park (10%) and Prestons (8%). Nepalese-born migrants - one of the fastest growing migrant groups in Australia - were most concentrated in Rockdale (8%) and Kogarah (7%).

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