Sunday, August 19, 2012

Irish in Australia

As some of you know I have been working on a project on Irish migration in the 20th century for the last several years (first working paper here). One of the main reasons for the project is the very high rates of migration from Ireland in the 19th and 20th century. This means that to give a full account of the effect of early conditions on later health and even to estimate basic inequality in health and income, one needs data on people who left. An interesting feature of the current downturn has been an increase in migration to Australia and Canada, including the move to Sydney of my colleague and co-author Colm Harmon. We are working on developing an account of the recent migration of Irish people to Australia. I am using this post to keep track of links and resources. Please send suggestions and comments. This post will, like some of the others, evolve over the year.

One of the main possibilities for studying the Irish in Australia will come from Census records. A question regarding country of birth has been asked in every Austrlian census since 1911. The population was first asked about their ancestry in 1986 and again until 2001 and 2006. Approximately 1.9 million of the 2001 sample (over 10% of the population) claimed Irish ancestry. Parent’s birthplace has commonly featured in Australian censuses. This question first appeared in the 1921 and featured in every census between 1971 and 1996. The 2001 and 2006 enumeration forms surveyed only whether or not the respondents parents were born in Australia or overseas.

Resources and Statistics: 

This website has information on Population Flows in Australia, and includes statistics on Irish immigrants:

This website has some information on the characteristics of recent immigrants to Australia, but nothing specifically on the Irish:

Data on Australia's migration programme.

Census Microdata Page 

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