12 February 2015: Nepal may be small but it has definitely beaten its giant neighbours, India and China, in terms of annual growth rate of Australian population born overseas.
Australian Bureau of Statistics records show that as at 30 June 2014, “persons born in Nepal had the highest rate of increase between 2004 and 2014 with an average annual growth rate of 27.0%.” This simply implies that an increasing number of people born and educated in Nepal are choosing Australia as their destination country.
However, unlike the Chinese and Indian immigrants who began arriving in Australia over a century ago and thus have a huge population base in comparison, there were only 3,400 Nepalese people in Australia as of 30 June 2004.
Nepalese students in particular began emigrating to Australia in their thousands as the armed Maoist rebellion intensified in late 1990s and early 2000s. The bloody war between the government forces and the Maoist guerrillas would eventually claim over 16 thousand innocent lives.
Brazil occupied the second position with 12.6% per year on average, followed by those born in Pakistan (12.5%), India (11.6%) and Bangladesh (10.4%).
According to Department of Statistics records, 28.1% of the estimated resident population was born overseas as at 30 June 2014. This meant 6.6 million people out of 23 million population of Australia were not born in the continent. This is an increase from 30 June 2013 when 27.7% of the population was born overseas (6.4 million people). In 2004, ten years earlier, 23.8% of the population was born overseas (4.8 million people).