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افغانها دراَسترالیا

Afghans in Australia


Based on the 2006 Census


By Dr. Noor Ahmad Khalidi,


افغانها دراَسترالیا


جون ۲۰۰۶


June 2006


 سرشماری سال ۲۰۱۱ آسترالیا تعداد افغانهای ساکن آسترالیا را ۳۵،۰۰۰ نشان میدهد. اینها کسانی اند که نسبیت خودرا افغان گفته اند و شامل هزاره هایی هم است که نسب خودرا هزاره نوشته اند. بیشترین تعداد افغانها در ملبورن زندگی میکنند (بیشتر از ۱۲۰۰۰)  متعاقبآ درسدنی (بیش از ۱۱۰۰۰)، پرث (بیش از ۴۰۰۰)، ادلید (بیش از ۳۰۰۰) و برزبن کووینزلند (بیش از  ۲۵۰۰نفر). کمتر از ۵۰۰ افغان در کانبرا حیات بسر میبرند. در مقالات بعدی مشخصات نفوس را توضیح خواهم کرد.




As per results of the 2011 population census 35,000 people with Afghan ancestry live in Australia. this number include about 5800 persons of Hazara background who indicated their ancestry as Hazara. With over 12,000 people, Victoria (Capital Melbourne) overtook New South Wales (Capital Sydney) as the State where majority of Afghans live, followed by NSW with over 11,000, Western Australia with over 4000, South Australia with over 3000 and Qld with over 2500. About 460 Afghans live in the ACT. I will later post more information about other demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the Afghan community in Australia.



Afghans in Australia comprise persons whose either or both parents were born in Afghanistan. This includes people who were born in Afghanistan and later in their lives migrated to Australia and their children who were born in Australia. Based on this definition, in 2006 the estimated total number of persons with Afghan ancestry in Australia, in other words the Afghan Community, is 22,600. This number was 2,972 in 1986 and 7,703 in 1996. It shows a growth rate of 10% on average per year during the last 20 years. This is for sure one of the fastest growth of communities in Australia during this period.  Furthermore, the number of Afghan migrants grew even faster during this period, at 12% average annual, second fastest growth for any community in Australia, behind those who were born in Sudan (ABS 2006).






Dr. Noor Ahmad Khalidi


Based on the results of the latest population census, there were 34,783 persons of Afghan ancestry in


Australia in August 2011. This number includes 5,307 Afghans of Hazara ancestry (Hazara Afghans).


Afghans are defined as all those who indicated their ancestry as “Afghan” or “Hazara” to the 1st


ancestry question in the 2011 Australian population census (ANC1P), plus all persons who indicated


their ancestry as “Afghan” to the 2nd ancestry question (ANC2P), minus those who indicated their


ancestry as “Hazara” to the 2nd ancestry question (ANC2P).


The Afghan community in Australia grew 26% per year from 1986 to 1996, 29% per year from 1996 to


2006 and 31% per year from 2006 to 2011, averaging an annual growth rate of 9.8% during the last 25


years. This is one of the fastest community growth evidenced in Australia. For comparison purposes it


should be noted that the Australian total population is growing at a rate of 1.4% per year.


A major contributor to the latest accelerated growth of Afghans in Australia is the arrival of the Hazara


Afghans now numbering 5,307. Hazara Afghans constitute over 90% of the total Hazara population in


Australia, over 15% of all Afghans in Australia. Around 52% of Hazara Afghans arrived in Australia


since 2001.


Since the 2006 Census, New South Wales (NSW) was overtaken by Victoria as the state where the


majority of Afghans live. In Victoria 12.5 thousand Afghans live followed by NSW with 11.9


thousand, South Australia with 3.9 thousand, Western Australia with 3.7 thousand, Queensland with


2.1 thousand. Less than 500 Afghans live in the Australian Capital Territory (Table 1).


Table 1: Afghan Australians by States & Territories, 2011 Census


States and Territories All Afghans Hazara Afghan Total Hazara


New South Wales 11940 2035 2185


Victoria 12450 1761 1976


Queensland 2181 378 413


South Australia 3872 650 754


Western Australia 3712 446 490


Tasmania 67 – 0


Northern Territory 70 1 7


Australian Capital Territory 491 44 44


Other Territories 0 0 0


Australia 34783 5307 5869


Of the total Afghans who live in Australia, 68.7% were born in Afghanistan and 18.2% were born in


Australia. A higher proportion of the Hazara Afghans (46.5%) were born in Afghanistan compared to


the all Afghans average (Table 2).


Table 2: Afghan Australians by Birth Place, 2011 Census


Birth Place All Afghans Hazara Afghans


Afghanistan 68.7% 76.5%


Australia 18.2% 12.9%


Pakistan 5.1% 6.2%


Iran 2.4% 1.8%


Other 3.5% 0.7%


Not stated 2.2% 1.9%


Total 100.0% 100.0%


Noor Khalidi, Afghans in Australia 2011 2


With a sex ratio of 122, the Afghan community is male dominated (55%) compared to total Australian


population (49%). The sex imbalance is more pronounced among the Hazara Afghans where 62% are


men (Table 3).


Table 3: Sex Composition of Afghan Australians, 2011 Census


Sex Composition Hazara










Male 62% 55% 49%


Female 38% 45% 51%


Sex Ratio 163% 122% 98.9


With a median age of 24.2 years, the Afghan community in Australia is much younger than the


Australian total population (median age 37 years). With a median age of 22.4 years, the Hazara


Afghans are even younger male dominated community than all Afghans (Table 4).


Table 4: Age Composition of Afghan Australians, 2011 Census


Age Groups All Afghans Hazara




Under 5 years 9.4% 12.2%


5 to 14 years 16.4% 16.5%


15 to 24 25.3% 28.0%


25 to 34 18.9% 21.9%


35 to 44 13.1% 13.8%


45 to 54 9.2% 5.4%


55 to 64 4.8% 1.5%


65 to 74 1.9% 0.6%


75+ 0.9% 0.1%


Total 100.0% 100.0%


Median Age (years) 24.3 22.4


An absolute majority (81.3%) of Afghan Australians speak Dari language at home which includes also


Hazaragi and Farsi.


Table 5: Afghan Australians by languages


spoken at home, 2011 Census


Languages All Afghans


Dari (all dialects) 81.3%


– Dari 49.3%


– Hazaraghi 19.9%


– Farsi 12.1%


Pashto 9.3%


English 4.1%


Other 5.2%


Total 100.0%


On average, Afghan Australians earn much less than an average Australian person. The median weekly


personal income of an Afghan Australian is $303.4 compared with $577 for an Australian person.


Hazara Afghans earn even less (Table 6).


Noor Khalidi, Afghans in Australia 2011 3


Table 6: Afghan Australians by average personal weekly income, 2011 Census


Personal Weekly Income All Afghans Hazara




Nil or negative income 11.2% 12.9%


$1-$299 ($10,400-$15,599) 22.7% 25.4%


$300-$599 ($20,800-$31,199) 14.3% 9.9%


$600-$999 ($41,600-$51,999) 10.0% 10.1%


$1,000-$1,499 ($65,000-$77,999) 3.8% 3.0%


$1,500 or more ($104,000 or more) 2.1% 1.4%


Not stated 4.0% 3.6%


Not applicable 25.8% 28.6%


Total 100.0% 100.0%


Median Weekly Income (in Australian Dollars) $303.4 $281.7


About 27% of Afghan Australians do not speak English well or not at all speak English. With almost


38%, Hazara Afghans score even worse on this indicator.


Table 7: Afghan Australians by Proficiency in English, 2011 Census


Proficiency in English All Afghans Hazara




Speaks English only 4.7% 0.7%


Speaks other language and speaks English: Very well 38.3% 26.2%


Speaks other language and speaks English: Well 28.0% 32.6%


Speaks other language and speaks English: Not well 18.5% 24.6%


Speaks other language and speaks English: Not at all 8.6% 13.3%


Not stated – both language (LANP) and proficiency (ENGP) not stated 0.4% 0.3%


Not stated – language (LANP) stated, proficiency (ENGP) not stated 1.6% 2.3%


Total 100.0% 100.0%


Source of Data:


Tables generated by the author using ABS TableBuilder, © Commonwealth of Australia, 2012


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