E.g., 10/20/2014
E.g., 10/20/2014

The Top Sending Countries of Immigrants in Australia, Canada, and the United States

The Top Sending Countries of Immigrants in Australia, Canada, and the United States

Australia, Canada, and the United States often are described as traditional countries of immigration, as historically each encouraged immigration for permanent settlement on a significant scale that was essential for the countries’ founding and development. All three have experienced successive waves of immigration over the past few centuries, and each wave has been characterized by a different predominant country or region of origin. (Click here to compare historical immigration trends in Australia, Canada, and United States). The below graphs provide a quick overview of the top origins of contemporary immigrants in the three countries, according to the latest population data.

Five Largest Foreign-Born Groups in Australia, 2006
(percent of the total foreign-born population)


Total foreign born: 4,416,000
Share of total population: 22%

Australia
  • About 4.4 million foreign-born persons resided in Australia as of the country’s 2006 Population and Housing Census. They accounted for 22.2 percent of the total country population of 19.9 million. The foreign-born share did not change between 2001 and 2006.
  • About one in every four migrants in Australia was from the United Kingdom.
  • Immigrants from the top five countries of origin - the United Kingdom, New Zealand, China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan), Italy, and Vietnam - accounted for 45.1 percent of all of the foreign born in Australia.
  • The immigrant populations of both Australia and the United States were dominated by a single foreign-born group: immigrants from the United Kingdom in Australia and immigrants from Mexico in the United States.
  • China was the only country to appear among the five largest source countries of immigrants in Australia, Canada, and the United States.

 

Five Largest Foreign-Born Groups in Canada, 2006
(percent of the total foreign-born population)


Total foreign born: 6,187,000
Share of total population: 20%

Canada
  • About 6.2 million foreign-born persons resided in Canada, according to the 2006 Canadian Census of Population. They accounted for 19.8 percent of the total country population of 31.2 million (compared to 18.4 percent in 2001).
  • The proportion of the foreign born in Canada was exceeded by the foreign-born population in Australia (22.2 percent) but was higher than in the United States (12.5 percent in 2006 and 12.9 percent in 2010).
  • About one in every 11 immigrants in Canada was from the United Kingdom.
  • Immigrants from the top five countries of origin - the United Kingdom, China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Philippines, and Italy - accounted for 33.8 percent of all the foreign born in Canada.
  • While immigrants from the United Kingdom represented the largest foreign-born group in Canada, the immigrant population of Canada was not dominated by a single group, unlike in Australia and the United States.
  • The United Kingdom, China, and Italy were among the top five source countries for both Canada and Australia, while China, India, and the Philippines were among the five largest source countries for Canada and the United States.
  • The United States was the sixth largest country of birth for immigrants residing in Canada in 2006, accounting for 4 percent of the total immigrant population of its northern neighbor.

 

 

Five Largest Foreign-Born Groups in the United States, 2010
(percent of the total foreign-born population)


Total foreign born: 39,956,000
Share of total population: 13%

United States
  • Almost 40 million foreign-born persons resided in the United States, according to the US Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey. They accounted for 12.9 percent of the total country population of 309.3 million (compared to 12.5 percent in 2006 and 11.1 percent in 2000).
  • Almost 30 percent of immigrants in the United States came from Mexico.
  • Immigrants from the top five countries of origin - Mexico, India, the Philippines, China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan), and Vietnam - accounted for 45.3 percent of all of the foreign born in the United States.
  • The immigrant population of the United States, like that of Australia, is dominated by a single foreign-born group: In the United States, the dominate group arrived from Mexico and in Australia, that group came from the United Kingdom.
  • China, India, and the Philippines were among the five largest source countries for both Canada and the United States. About 2 percent of immigrants in the United States were born in Canada, while 4 percent of Canadian immigrants were US born.

 

Ten Largest Foreign-Born Populations, by Country of Birth: Australia, Canada, and the United States

Australia: 2006
Canada: 2006
United States: 2010
Country
Population Percent
Country
Population Percent
Country
Population Percent
Total 4,416,034 100% Total 6,186,950 100% Total 39,955,673 100%
United Kingdom 1,038,160 23.5% United Kingdom 579,620 9.4% Mexico 11,711,103 29.3%
New Zealand 389,466 8.8% China* 466,940 7.5% India 1,780,322 4.5%
China* 206,589 4.7% India 443,690 7.2% Philippines 1,777,588 4.4%
Italy 199,123 4.5% Philippines 303,195 4.9% China* 1,608,095 4%
Vietnam 159,849 3.6% Italy 296,850 4.8% Vietnam 1,240,542 3.1%
India 147,105 3.3% United States 250,535 4% El Salvador 1,214,049 3.0%
Philippines 120,538 2.7% Hong Kong 215,430 3.5% Cuba 1,104,679 2.8%
Greece 109,989 2.5% Germany 171,405 2.8% Korea 1,100,422 2.8%
Germany 106,524 2.4% Poland 170,490 2.8% Dominican Republic 879,187 2.2%
South Africa 104,131 2.4% Vietnam 160,170 2.6% Guatemala 830,824 2.1%
All others 1,834,560 41.5% All others 3,128,625 50.6% All others 16,708,862 41.8%

Notes:
1) *Excludes Hong Kong and Taiwan.
2) The total population of Australia in 2006 was 19,855,000; Canada (2006): 31,241,000; the United States (2010): 309,350,000.


Sources:
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006 Census of Population and Housing
Country of Birth of Person by Sex (based on place of usual residence)

Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population
Immigrant population by place of birth and period of immigration

U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey
Ten Source Countries with the Largest Populations in the United States