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
Australia 14,072,946
England 856,940
New Zealand 389,463
China (excludes SARs and Taiwan Province) 206,591
Italy 199,123
Viet Nam 159,849
India 147,106
Scotland 130,204
Philippines 120,538
Greece 109,988
Germany 106,524
South Africa 104,128
Malaysia 92,337
Netherlands 78,927
Lebanon 74,848
Hong Kong (SAR of China) 71,803
Sri Lanka 62,256
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.




Right now, I am a college student living in southern California. I’ve been heavily following politics for as long as I can remember.

I would characterize myself as a left-leaning political moderate. I’m somewhat socially conservative and fairly economically liberal (as defined in the United States). I will attempt to maintain a high-level, respectful level of argumentation – even if I disagree vehemently with a particular person or a particular political viewpoint.