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The land and its people


Australians come from a rich variety of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds. While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the original inhabitants of the land, immigrants from about 200 countries also call Australia home.

Did you know?

In 2015 Australia had the second highest median adult wealth (US$168,000) in the world after New Zealand (US$182,000). Australia's was followed by Belgium ($US150,000) and the United Kingdom ($126,000).

Until the 1970s, the majority of immigrants to Australia came from Europe. These days Australia receives many more immigrants from Asia, and since 1996 the number of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East has almost doubled.

Australia's immigration policy welcomes people from all over the world and does not discriminate on racial, cultural or religious grounds. Australians embrace the spectrum of religious beliefs and Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and other places of worship are found in almost every major city.

Australia is modern, contemporary and multicultural and this is reflected in its buildings, fashion, recreation and foods.

Did you know?

English is the national language but more than 300 languages are spoken in Australian homes. The most common are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese and Greek.

Top 10 source countries for immigrants: 1 New Zealand, 2 India, 3 China, 4 UK, 5 Phillipines, 6 Vietnam, 7 Malaysia, 8 South Africa, 9 Sri Lanka, 10 Iraq.
Top 10 source countries for immigrants (2012–13). Source: Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Last Updated: 22 August 2016
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