In the minds of most Americans, Australia is a great place. The land down under has beautiful weather, a booming economy, and sights ranging from the Great Barrier Reef to kangaroos. What’s more, the culture and the language of Australia are as similar to the United States as any other country in the world, with the exception of perhaps Canada. What’s not to like about living in a country where everybody has cool accents?
Why, then, do so few Americans bother to immigrate to Australia?
Below is a very interesting table, taken from the 2006 Census in Australia (the exact table can be found here). It lists the top countries of birth for Australians:
|Country of Birth||Persons|
|China (excludes SARs and Taiwan Province)||206,591|
|Hong Kong (SAR of China)||71,803|
|United States of America||61,718|
(Note: An SAR of China is a Special Administrative Region i.e. Hong Kong and Macau.)
America places very, very low; there are sixteen entries (not including Australia) which send higher numbers of immigrants than the United States. In fact, there are more Sri Lankan and Lebanese immigrants to Australia than American immigrants to Australia.
What’s doubly strange about this is that it’s not as if Anglo-Saxon countries don’t send immigrants to Australia. England sends the most immigrants out of any other country to Australia, followed by New Zealand. Other European countries, such as Italy, Scotland, Greece, and Germany also send lots of immigrants to Australia. All of these countries are dwarfed by America’s population, and yet Australia receives much more immigration from them than from the United States.
Australia is a very small country in terms of population; more people live in Texas than in the entire country of Australia. It is also a country with a very high number of immigrants; about one-in-four Australians was born outside of Australia.
For now, it seems, very few of those immigrants will be Americans.