E.g., 08/28/2014
E.g., 08/28/2014

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

The Top Sending Regions 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 charts provide a quick overview of the top origins of immigrants in the three countries, as drawn from the latest population data.

Foreign-Born Population by Region of Birth in Australia, 2006


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.
  • Almost half of all immigrants in Australia came from Europe, predominantly from the United Kingdom. Other European countries such as Italy, Greece, and Germany also are ranked in the top ten largest source countries of immigration.
  • Even though the share of Europeans in the total immigrant population in Australia dropped slightly (from 51 percent in 2001 to 47 percent in 2006), Europe retained its status as the main sending region of immigrants to Australia.
  • Almost one-third of all immigrants in Australia hailed from Asia. China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan), Vietnam, India, and the Philippines were among the largest sending countries from Asia.
  • Compared to Canada and the United States, Australia had the highest percentage of immigrants from Oceania (11.2 percent), who arrived mostly from New Zealand.

 

Foreign-Born Population by Region of Birth in Canada, 2006


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).
  • Whereas Europe was the main sending region of immigrants to Canada in 2001, by 2006 Asia surpassed Europe as the primary region of birth for immigrants. The largest group of immigrants (40.8 percent) in Canada in 2006 was from Asia; China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Vietnam were among the ten largest source countries.
  • Over one-third of all immigrants (36.8 percent) in Canada were born in Europe. United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and Poland, were among the ten largest source countries.
  • Compared with Australia and the United States, Canada had the highest percentage of immigrants from Africa (6.1 percent), including those born in Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, and Algeria.

 

 

Foreign-Born Population by Region of Birth in the United States, 2010


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).
  • Over half of all immigrants in the United States were from the Americas, predominantly from Mexico. Also among the top ten largest source countries were El Salvador, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala.
  • Over one-fourth of all immigrants in the United States were from Asia. India, the Philippines, China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan), Vietnam, and South Korea were among the largest sending countries.
  • Only one in eight immigrants in the United States were born in Europe. No European country was among the top ten sending countries in 2010. The United Kingdom, Germany, and Poland were the primary European source countries.
  • Compared with Australia and Canada, the United States' immigrant population was mostly (55.1 percent) from other countries in the Americas. Only 4.1 percent of immigrants in Australia and 15.4 percent of those in Canada came from the Americas.

 

 

The Foreign Born in Australia, Canada, and the United States by Region of Birth

 

Region
Australia: 2006
Canada: 2006
United States: 2010
Number
Percent
Number
Percent
Number
Percent
Total 4,416,037 100.0% 6,186,950 100.0% 39,955,673 100.0%
Africa 248,747 5.6% 374,565 6.1% 1,606,914 4%
Americas 179,993 4.1% 949,465 15.3% 22,031,012 55.1%
Asia 1,402,395 31.8% 2,525,160 40.8% 11,283,574 28.2%
Europe 2,077,907 47.1% 2,278,345 36.8% 4,817,437 12.1%
Oceania 496,384 11.2% 52,770 0.9% 216,736 0.5%


Sources:
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006 Census of Population and Housing
Country of Birth of Person (Major Groups) By Sex

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

U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey
Immigrant Population in the United States by Region of Birth, 1960 to 2010