Australia’s population reached 20.1 million at the end of June 2004.
Current projections suggest that the country’s population may be around 26 to 27 million by the middle of this century, according to a special report by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA).
More than 75% of Australia’s population lives in three states, notably: New South Wales (33.3%), Victoria (24.7%), and Queensland (19.3%)
In particular, South Australia has become home to more than 1,500 humanitarian entrants in the past year. A further 1,500 are expected to arrive during 2005-06.
About two thirds of humanitarian entrants to South Australia are refugees. Refugees are defined by the Commonwealth Government as “People who are subject to persecution in their home country, have a strong need for resettlement and have been referred for resettlement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)”.
The Refugees come from many countries; including the Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Burundi, Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Uganda, Rwanda, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan.
About 50% of the refugees are children.
Ethnic groups now resident in South Australia include various sub-cultural nationalities and language groups from the Sudan, such as Nuer, Zande, Dinka Bor, Dinka Gorgriel, Dinka Aweil, Acholi, Bari, Raja, Kuku, Northern Sudanese, Nuba, Made; and Middle Eastern groups such as Kurdish, Iraqi and Turkman.
Most humanitarian migrants receive government support for up to six months after arrival in Australia and are then assisted by various community organizations.
The Gentle Neophyte
10 years ago