The latest Census (2016) data reveals which regions of the country have the highest proportion of residents that are Australian citizens and the areas dominated by non-citizens.

Over recent years Australia has experienced high rates of overseas migration which has led to an increasing proportion of Australians being born overseas. Furthermore, it has also resulted in more people living in Australia that aren’t citizens. 

Although overseas migration has been high, nationally only 10.7% of residents of Australia are not Australian citizens.  Across the state, the proportion of residents that aren’t citizens ranges from 4.4% in Tasmania to 13.3% in Western Australia.


Looking at the list of the 25 SA2 regions nationally with the highest proportion of residents that were citizens, areas of Queensland and Northern Territory dominate the list.  Many of these regions listed are also remote Aboriginal / Torres Strait Islander communities.  Most of the locations listed are also outside of the capital cities, interestingly four (Heathcote – Waterfall, Woronora Heights, Illawong – Alfords Bay and Lilli Pilli – Port Hacking – Dolans Bay of the six (Geilston Bay – Risdon and Brighton – Pontville) capital city regions are situated in Sydney.  Of the capital cities only Melbourne and Perth have a higher proportion of non-citizens.  The other two are situated in Hobart and only 3.8% of residents of Hobart are not citizens.


The second table shows the SA2 regions of the country with the highest proportion of residents that aren’t Australian citizens.  All of these SA2 regions are in capital cities which would tend to support the fact that migrants prefer capital cities rather than regional areas.  Furthermore, when you look more closely at the locations many of them are located within the same areas, or very close to, major universities.  This highlights the strong demand for Australian tertiary education services and that when studying, foreign students tend to live close to the university.

Since the 2016 Census Australia's rate of net overseas migration has accelerated.  Of course, many of those that weren’t citizens at the time of the Census may become citizens and a proportion will leave Australia.  It is however, reasonable to expect that by the time the 2021 Census rolls around an even higher proportion of the national population is likely to be non-citizens.