Alex Dalland

Australia is renowned for its status as a cultural melting pot and for Ku-ring-gai residents this pot is more diverse than ever.

National migration data released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the proportion of Australians who were born overseas has reached its highest in 120 years. By this estimate, around 28.2 per cent, or close to seven million Australians, were born outside of Australia. In comparison, around 35 per cent of Ku-ring-gai residents were born overseas according to the last census, with the majority of overseas-born residents coming from the United Kingdom and China.

“Australia has traditionally had a high proportion of migrants, but we’ve now hit a peak not seen since the late 1800’s,” ABS spokesperson Beidar Cho said.

Most overseas-born Australians were originally from the UK – around 5 per cent of Australia’s total population. However, recent migration has seen a change in growth demographics, with migrants from countries like India and China beginning to form the bulk of new residents.

“The number of Australian residents born in India has almost tripled over the last 10 years and residents born in China have more than doubled in this time,” Ms Cho said.

It is the same story in Ku-ring-gai, with the greatest number of overseas born residents to settle in the area between 2006 and 2011 coming from China, the UK, South Korea and India respectively. The four year period saw an arrival of 1655 Chinese-born Australians into Ku-ring-gai’s local government area.

“Based on the migration data recently released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Ku-ring-gai experienced a net increase of 155 people in 2014-2015,” a Ku-ring-gai Council spokeswoman said.

“The main countries of origin for migrants in Ku-ring-gai are the United Kingdom, South Africa, China, Hong Kong and New Zealand.”