Polish migration to Australia

Two migrant waves

When ‘Polish-born’ residents of Australia were first enumerated as a separate migrant group in 1921, the census tallied them at 1780. Their number quadrupled by 1947 to reach 6573. [42] After World War II, two distinct ‘waves’ of Poland-born immigrants arrived in Australia.

The first wave consisted of Poland-born displaced persons. Between 1947 and 1954, the Poland-born population of Australia increased more than eightfold to 56 594. The total population kept increasing, albeit at a decreasing rate, until the 1966 Census, when it peaked at 61 641 people (see Table 5.1). It subsequently declined to 56 051 in the 1976 Census.

The second wave of migrants started in 1980 and ended in the early 1990s. Between 1980 and 1985, 15 570 Polish settlers arrived in Australia. This more than doubled the number of arrivals in the previous 15 years. [43] In 1981–82, 5732 settlers arrived from Poland (the fourth-largest group of immigrants and nearly 5 per cent of all new arrivals). [44] This rate of inflow continued in the second half of the 1980s. In 1989–90, the number of settlers from Poland increased to 8052 (nearly 7 per cent of all settlers and the fourth-largest group of immigrants). [45] At the 1991 Census, the Poland-born population increased to 68 496 people—an all-time high. [46] The inflow of Polish settlers decreased again in the 1990s: 3998 arrived in 1991–95 but only 1780 followed in 1996–2000. [47]

By the first decade of this century, the stream of arrivals of new settlers from Poland had decreased to a trickle: 2285 arrived in 2001–05 (0.0035 per cent of all immigrants to Australia during that period). [48] In 2005–06, only 338 settlers arrived from Poland while 30 407 arrived from Europe as a whole and 131 593 in total. [49] With the large decline in new arrivals and the natural rate of attrition, the number of Poland-born people decreased to 52 256 in the 2006 Census (see Table 5.1). Not surprisingly, then, the Poland-born population has been one of those overseas-born groups that has recently recorded high rates of absolute decline: decreasing at 2 per cent a year. [50]

Generational change and integration

Interestingly, this very small inflow of Polish settlers to Australia in the early 2000s occurred during a period of massive outflow (perhaps as many as two million people) of migrants from Poland. [51] Settlers migrating to Australia are normally defined as those arriving with a permanent visa regardless of the intended period of stay. [52] Those who departed Poland after the country’s accession to the European Union largely fell into the ‘grey’ area of transnational job seekers rather than emigrants—that is, they were taking advantage of opportunities provided by the EU labour market enlargement rather than looking for a chance to leave Poland for good. [53] Nevertheless, we would expect the pull effect of ‘chain migration’ to be stronger—that is, the established community of earlier immigrants normally helps to attract further arrivals as the cost of settlement (to the settlers) is partially reduced through access to established ethnic networks and other intra-community support mechanisms. [54] The Australian labour market was also quite strong in the early and mid 2000s.

While Australia has long been perceived as a final destination of choice for international migrants, it appears to be increasingly harder to attract highly skilled immigrants. [55] Global competition for skilled and adaptable migrants intensified in the 2000s, especially for the internationally mobile labour force seeking job opportunities that are not necessarily tied to permanent resettlement. [56] Australia’s traditional preference for permanent immigration may be unattractive to those seeking short-term job opportunities. The ‘tyranny of distance’ is also a factor likely to deter Eastern European job seekers when jobs are available in Western European labour markets since the EU enlargement. Clearly, as a migrant destination, Australia was not attractive enough to divert Polish migrants away from Europe in the early 2000s.

Reverse migration

As G. Hugo observes, ‘For most of the twentieth century the dominant paradigm in Australian international migration has been one of permanent settlement.’ [57] Polish migrants fit well into this paradigm. By and large, the two waves of migrants arrived in Australia to stay and reverse migration has been negligible. Between 1996–97 and 2006–07, for example, permanent departures from Australia to Poland totalled 862 people, on average fewer than 80 people per annum. [58] In 2005–06, 135 Poland-born people permanently departed from Australia, a very small number considering that 67 853 people permanently departed Australia during that period and only 88 of all those departing gave Poland as their intended country of residence. Of Poland-bound departees, 14 people were Australia-born and 74 overseas-born (but not necessarily Poland-born). [59] In the early 2000s, the two-way flow of permanent migrants between Poland and Australia was negligible.

Spatial distribution of immigrants

Polish immigrants have largely concentrated in Victoria and New South Wales. In 1986, 36 per cent of Poland-born people (24 635) settled in Victoria (89 per cent of whom settled in Melbourne), 31 per cent (21 008 people) in New South Wales (80 per cent of those in Sydney), 12 per cent (7934) in South Australia (92 per cent in Adelaide), 10 per cent (6534) in Western Australia (81 per cent in Perth), 7 per cent (4854) in Queensland (69 per cent in Brisbane) and 2 per cent in Tasmania (1301) and the Australian Capital Territory (1275), respectively, with only 150 people settling in the Northern Territory. [60] This broad pattern of settlement has largely continued to the present day, except that, in line with movements of the broader Australian population, the number of those living in Queensland has increased. With the decline of the Poland-born population, ‘Polish ancestry’ provides a better measure of the dispersion of Australians of Polish descent. At the 2006 Census, 32 per cent of Australians of Polish ancestry lived in Victoria (27 per cent in Melbourne), 28 per cent in New South Wales (21 per cent in Sydney), 13 per cent in Queensland (8 per cent in Brisbane), 11 per cent in South Australia (10 per cent in Adelaide), 11 per cent in Western Australia, 2 per cent in the Australian Capital Territory, 2 per cent in Tasmania and less than 0.5 per cent in the Northern Territory. [61] In sum, Australians of Polish ancestry tend to be big-city dwellers with nearly half of the group living in Melbourne and Sydney conurbations.

Migrant generations

Table 5.1 also includes estimates of different generations of Polish migrants.[62] The first generation are Poland-born migrants (column a); the second generation comprises Australia-born people with one or both Poland-born parents; the third and subsequent generations are those with both parents Australia-born. The Polish identity of the second and subsequent generations of Polish migrants depends on the extent to which their members are prepared to state their ancestry as Polish. The second and third generations are shown in columns c and d in the table (no data are available for years before 1986).

As migrant streams age, the first generation of settlers decreases, mostly due to deaths, while the second and subsequent generations are normally expected to increase. In the early 2000s, the second generation of Polish migrants outnumbered the first generation. With the growing third, and soon fourth, generation of Australians of Polish ancestry, and no new arrivals from Poland to replace the loss of Poland-born settlers, the share of Poland-born in all those who claim Polish ancestry has declined and will continue to decline in the years to come (see Table 5.1, column f).

Polish ancestry

About one-third of people of Polish ancestry also stated another ancestry, which suggests the relative ‘openness’ of the Polish settler community. [63] The corresponding figures for Greek and Croatian communities are 21 per cent, Chinese 15 per cent, Macedonian 10 per cent and Vietnamese 6 per cent. [64]

Intermarriages provide another measure of the ability and willingness to melt into the broader host society. In 2001, 41 per cent of men and 38 per cent of women of the first generation of Polish migrants had a spouse of different ancestry. For the second generation, the corresponding figures were 83 per cent for men and 81 per cent for women, and for the third generation, 95 per cent for men and 94 per cent for women. [65] In comparison, only 68 per cent of third-generation Greek men and 26 per cent of women marry someone of different ancestry. Intermarriages between those of Polish and Australian ancestry are also indicative of the extent to which different generations of Polish settlers have ‘gone native’. In 2001, 8 per cent of men and 10 per cent of women of the first Polish generation married partners of Australian ancestry. For the second generation, the corresponding figures were 22 per cent and 19 per cent; and for the third, 13 per cent and 16 per cent. [66]

Language spoken at home

English proficiency

In 1996, the Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research (BIMPR) introduced the concept of English Proficiency (EP) Country Groups. [67] The EP index is defined in terms of migrants’ (self-assessed) ability to speak English. EP1 is the highest level of deemed English proficiency (migrants from countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada or South Africa) and EP4 is the lowest. In the 2001 Census, 57 450 Poland-born people who answered the English proficiency question scored 87.6 per cent on the English proficiency scale, which ranked them as EP2. In five years before the census date, arrivals from Poland numbered 2038, and 1487 people spoke good English. This gave the recent arrivals the score of EP3—that is, 73 per cent of them met the ‘good English’ criterion. [68]

Overall, Poland-born Australians speak English relatively well. In the 2006 Census, 18 per cent of Poland-born people revealed that they speak ‘English only’ at home, 64 per cent speak ‘other language’ (mostly Polish) and very good or good English, and only 11 per cent stated that while they speak another language at home their English is poor. [69] Proficiency in English appears to be more of a problem for the older Poland-born people who arrived in Australia relatively recently. For example, at the 1996 Census, of those aged sixty-five and above who arrived in Australia before 1986, 84 per cent claimed to be proficient in English. For those in the same age group who arrived between 1986 and 1996, only 34 per cent claimed to be proficient in English. [70]

The census-based findings are supported by the results of the Polish survey: 17 per cent of survey respondents described themselves as ‘native English speakers’. Of these, 60 per cent were aged twenty–twenty-nine, 24 per cent aged thirty–fifty-four and, somewhat surprisingly, 18 per cent aged over fifty-five. Australia-born native English speakers accounted for 66 per cent of the group, Poland-born for 18 per cent and elsewhere-born for 16 per cent. Further, 47 per cent of respondents described themselves as very proficient in English, 28 per cent as proficient, 5 per cent as not very proficient and 1 per cent as not at all proficient. [71] Of those not proficient in English, 94 per cent were aged over fifty-five and all those with no English at all were over sixty-five. These numbers are similar to those drawn from ‘official’ statistics and confirm the relatively high level of English proficiency in the Polish migrant community. Of the 6 per cent of respondents whose English was poor, half considered themselves to be native Polish speakers and another quarter to be very proficient in Polish. And of the 17 per cent who are native English speakers, 63 per cent are also proficient or very proficient in Polish while 7 per cent claim to be native Polish speakers (completely bilingual).

Polish proficiency

Not surprisingly, given the tendency of Polish migrants to assimilate more easily than many other migrant groups, the ability to speak Polish as the ‘second language’ has declined in the second and subsequent generations. At the time of the 2001 Census, 40 per cent of those stating Polish ancestry spoke Polish at home but only 20 per cent of those born in Australia continued to speak it at home. [72] This is a much smaller proportion than that for Greek, Italian or Arabic-speaking groups. Overall, the number of those speaking Polish at home peaked in the early 1990s, and has been declining since (see Table 5.1, column g).

The census does not probe the proficiency of those who speak Polish at home: 59 per cent of Polish survey respondents described themselves as ‘native Polish speakers’, 19 per cent stated they were ‘very proficient’ and 13 per cent were ‘proficient’ in Polish. Only 8 per cent described their command of Polish language as poor and 1 per cent as no Polish at all. Of those who stated their national identity as Polish (see below), nearly three-quarters considered themselves to be native Polish speakers, 22 per cent were very proficient Polish speakers and 4 per cent were proficient. Of those who stated their national identity as Australian, 27 per cent considered themselves as native Polish speakers, 16 per cent were very proficient in Polish, 22 per cent were proficient, 30 per cent were not proficient and only 5 per cent had no Polish at all. Some 89 per cent of native Polish speakers had parents speaking Polish at home, 95 per cent were born in Poland and 90 per cent spoke either Polish only or Polish and English at home. Also, 53 per cent of those who have lived in Australia for at least 20 years considered themselves to be native Polish speakers and another 21 per cent were very proficient in Polish. These survey-based figures suggest that regardless of their actual, as opposed to stated, command of the Polish language, Polish migrants appear to be very confident about their Polish language proficiency.

Religion

We have left out ‘religion’ as a factor differentiating the Polish community in Australia. While Poland is predominantly Catholic and Catholicism is the dominant religion of the Polish immigrant community in Australia, Poland-born Catholics accounted for less than 1 per cent of all those who stated their religion as ‘Catholicism’ in the 2001 Census. [73]

Citizenship and national identity

Australian citizenship

In 1981, 85 per cent of Poland-born Australian permanent residents were Australian citizens. The proportion was about the same in 1986, although the number of Poland-born increased (see Table 5.1, columns a and h). In comparison with other overseas-born groups, these numbers are above average. [74] With the recent slowdown in arrivals from Poland, relatively few Poland-born residents have acquired Australian citizenship in the past decade. [75]

In 1981, 14 per cent of those who were Poland-born had ‘other’ (that is, non-Australian) citizenship and a similar proportion had no Australian citizenship in 1986. [76] In 2001, only 4171 (7 per cent) of Poland-born people had ‘other’ citizenship. [77] However, it is very likely that many Poland-born people who have acquired Australian citizenship by marriage or naturalisation have also retained their Polish citizenship (see below). [78] In Polish law, those born in Poland who have not renounced or been deprived of Polish nationality are deemed to be Polish nationals regardless of whether they are Polish passport-holders or not.

Some 323 Polish survey respondents (96 per cent of all) were Australian citizens, 10 were not (3 per cent) and two did not describe their citizenship. The proportion of Australian citizens in this sample is somewhat larger than that for the Polish community in Australia while the proportion of non-citizens is smaller. Of those respondents who were Australian citizens, 82 per cent acquired it through naturalisation, 12 per cent at birth and 2 per cent by marriage. [79] Again, these figures are broadly consistent with the ‘official’ citizenship data that show high rates of Australian citizenship-by-naturalisation in the Polish migrant community.

Polish citizenship

The Polish survey complements official statistics in that it provides data on dual citizenship, in particular the dual Australian-Polish citizenship of respondents.

As expected, a large proportion of Polish survey respondents (66 per cent) has retained their Polish nationality and of these 94 per cent are Poland-born (see Table 5.2). Since 96 per cent of all respondents have Australian nationality, most of those who are Polish nationals are also dual Australian-Polish nationals. Only 3 per cent of Australia-born respondents are Polish nationals. And of those who are not Polish nationals (one-third of all respondents), 8 per cent have a third-country nationality (for example, British).

Polish passport-holders tend to include many of those dual nationals who are likely to travel to Poland. [80] In the five-year period immediately preceding the survey, 80 per cent of Polish passport-holders travelled to Poland at least once. Of those, 59 per cent of Polish passport-holders visited Poland once or twice, 16 per cent three or four times and 5 per cent at least five times. After Poland’s accession to the European Union, we expect a larger proportion of Polish nationals to acquire Polish passports as the possession of a valid Polish passport will make it easier to travel to, reside and work in all EU member states.

Of those who are Polish nationals, 68 per cent are also Polish passport-holders (see Table 5.3) and 29 per cent are not. [81] Polish passport-holders can be described as the de facto dual citizens as opposed to those who are dual citizens but who have no active involvement with Poland. Some 93 per cent of Polish passport-holders are Poland-born and only 4 per cent are Australia-born. However, only 21 per cent of Polish nationals vote in the Polish elections. [82]

National identity

Polish survey respondents were also asked to state their ‘national identity’ (see Table 5.4), and 11 per cent of them described their identity as ‘Australian’, 33 per cent as ‘Australian-Polish’, 7 per cent as ‘Polish’, 44 per cent as ‘Polish-Australian’ and 4 per cent as ‘Other’. [83] Interestingly, half of those who described themselves as ‘Australian’ and 70 per cent of those ‘Australian-Polish’ were Poland-born. Nearly all (96 per cent) of those who considered themselves to be ‘Polish’ were Poland-born and only 4 per cent were born in Australia. Of those who stated they were ‘Polish-Australian’, 93 per cent were born in Poland and only 3 per cent in Australia. Surprisingly, of those aged twenty-nine or less, only one-fifth described themselves as ‘Australian’, nearly one-third as ‘Australian-Polish’, 11 per cent as ‘Polish’ and 26 per cent as ‘Polish-Australian’. Those over thirty are more evenly spread across all identity groups compared with those over sixty-five.

Conclusion

Four ‘research questions’ were posed in the introduction to provide focus for this paper. I conclude by briefly responding to each of these questions.

Although the number of Poland-born Australian residents has been declining with deaths of first-generation migrants and insufficient new arrivals to replace them, ancestry data help to differentiate Australians of Polish extraction from the broader Australian community. The total number of those of Polish ancestry is increasing slowly as the second and third generations of Polish migrants replace Poland-born arrivals (see Table 5.1). There has been very little reverse migration, but the number of people speaking Polish at home peaked in the mid 1990s and only one-fifth of those born in Australia continue to speak Polish at home. Unless a new migrant wave arrives from Poland, those of Polish extraction will increasingly blend with the broader Australian community. Descriptors such ‘country of birth’ or ‘language spoken at home’ are less useful as a means of differentiating second and subsequent generations of migrants as ethnic groups intermarry and people reveal multiple ancestries.

Overall, Polish migrants have integrated well into the broader migrant community and appear to represent the type of migrant stream that Australian policymakers have tried to attract. This is reflected in particular in the ability of first-generation migrants to speak English as the second (and in some cases first) language. But, as is evident from the decline in new arrivals of permanent migrants from Poland in the 2000s, this type of migrant stream is becoming increasingly difficult to attract away from other host nations. This has major policy implications as the emphasis shifts from permanent immigration to policies aimed at attracting more mobile international job seekers.

The 2006 Polish survey provides new insights into the nature and incidence of dual citizenship. As expected, a large proportion of new Australian citizens have retained their previous (mostly Polish) citizenship. With Polish accession to the European Union, the propensity to retain or seek Polish citizenship is likely to increase for the second and third generations of Australians of Polish extraction. But, for many dual Australian-Polish citizens, the retention of Polish citizenship appears to be a matter of convenience (for example, the ease of travel to Poland and the European Union) rather than a commitment to Poland as a home country. For example, only one-fifth of Polish passport-holders voted in Polish elections.

The latter point is further emphasised by the extent to which Australians of Polish extraction identify with Australia. Even though nearly 80 per cent of our survey respondents were Poland-born, 44 per cent of them described their national identity as ‘Australian’ or ‘Australian-Polish’ rather than ‘Polish’ or ‘Polish-Australian’. Relative to some other migrant groups, Polish migrants have been more ready to embrace the uniform national identity of the host community.

Statistical annex—Polish community survey

Of 335 respondents in the Polish survey, 47 per cent were male, 50 per cent female and 3 per cent did not state their gender. One respondent was under nineteen years of age, 19 (6 per cent) were aged twenty–twenty-nine years, 115 (34 per cent) were aged thrity–fifty-four, 92 (28 per cent) were aged fifty-five–sixty-four and 97 (29 per cent) were aged sixty-five and over. [84] This age distribution was broadly similar to the age profile for the Poland-born community in the 2006 Census, of whom 5 per cent were under twenty-five, 42 per cent were aged twenty-five–fifty-four, 16 per cent were aged fifty-five–sixty-four and 37 per cent were over sixty-five. [85]

A total of 263 people in the sample were Poland-born (79 per cent), 41 (12 per cent) were born in Australia and 27 (8 per cent) were born in another country. [86] Table 5.A1shows the age distribution of respondents by their country of birth. The sample is more representative of the Poland-born population of Australia than of those of Polish ancestry, as only 32 per cent of Australians of Polish ancestry were born in Poland (see Table 5.1).

A majority (92 per cent) of respondents had their mother born in Poland and 90 per cent had a Poland-born father. Only 2 per cent had an Australia-born mother and 1 per cent an Australia-born father; 4 per cent had their mother and 6 per cent their father born in another country. Less than 1 per cent of the respondents had both parents born in Australia and 85 per cent had both parents born in Poland.

Three-quarters of the respondents had lived in Australia for at least 20 years and 18 per cent for between 10 and 19 years. This reflects the ‘vintage’ structure of Polish migrant inflows: the two major waves of Poland-born arrivals (1947–66 and 1980–91), with a very small inflow since the 1990s. Table 5.A2 shows the length of residence by the country of birth of respondents. Interestingly, 17 per cent of those who lived in Australia between only five and nine years were born in countries other than Poland or Australia.

Table 5.A3 shows the distribution of respondents by language spoken at home, their country of birth and age. Only 21 per cent of respondents speak ‘English only’ at home, 22 per cent speak ‘Polish only’ and 56 per cent are bilingual English-Polish speakers. Of those who speak only Polish, 93 per cent are Poland-born. However, those who speak only English are more likely to be born in Poland (54 per cent) than Australia (36 per cent). Polish-only speakers are concentrated in two age groups: thirty–fifty-four (32 per cent) and over sixty-five5 (35 per cent). English-only speakers are predominantly aged thirty–sixty-four and the bilingual group is spread quite evenly across all age groups. Of those who speak English only, 79 per cent have lived in Australia for at least 20 years and 10 per cent for 10–19 years. Also, broadly similar proportions characterise Polish-only speakers (69 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively). Of the bilingual group, 76 per cent have lived in Australia for at least 20 years and 20 per cent for 10–19 years.

Not surprisingly though, of those born in Poland, 82 per cent grew up in households where parents spoke Polish at home and only 9 per cent in households where both English and Polish were spoken by parents. Another 9 per cent had their parents speak a language other than Polish or English. Of those born in Australia, 5 per cent grew up in households where parents spoke only English and 51 per cent where they spoke only Polish. Some 44 per cent of Australia-born respondents had parents that spoke both English and Polish at home.

Tables

Table 5.1 Australian residents of Polish ancestry

Census date

Poland-born persons (no.)

1st generation

a

1st generation:

+/- change since previous census date

b

Polish ancestry: Australia-born with at least one Poland-born parent (no.)

2nd generationc

Polish ancestry: Australia-born with Australia-born parents3

(no.)

3rd generation

d

Polish ancestry total

(no.)

e

Percentage of Poland-born in all persons of Polish ancestry (a/e)

(%)

f

Persons speaking Polish language at home4 (no.)

g

Australian citizenship: number and percentage of all Poland-born citizens

no.(%)

h

1921

1780

-

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

-

-

1933

3239

1459

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

-

-

1947

6573

3334

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

-

-

1954

56 594

50 021

n /a

n/a

n/a

n/a

-

-

1961

60 049

3455

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

-

-

1966

61 641

1592

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

-

-

1971

59 700

-1941

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

-

-

1976

56 051

-3649

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

-

-

1981

59 442

3391

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

-

49 615 (83%)

1986

67 691

8249

49 636

-

142 173

47.6

48 594

56 643 (84%)

1991

68 496

805

53 161

n/a

n/a1

n/a1

c.67 000

-

1996

65 113

-3383

n/a1

n/a1

n/a1

n/a1

62 771

-

2001

58 110

-7003

57 946

18 582

150 900

38.5

59 056

53 939 (93%)5

2006

52 256

-5854

79 0052

27 119

163 802

31.9

53 389

-

1 The ‘ancestry’ question was first asked in the 1986 Census but no ancestry data were collected in the 1991 and 1996 Censuses.

2For 2006, the second-generation estimate was obtained by subtracting Poland-born persons from all persons of Polish ancestry who had at least one parent born in Poland(that is, 133 972 less 52 256 less 2711; country of birth of either/both parents not stated). This is likely to be an overestimate of the second-generation total.

3 This category represents third and subsequent generations of persons of stated Polish ancestry. Also, Polish ancestry means that at least one parent had Polish ancestry.

4 These figures may be overstated as some Poland-born people who speak another language at home are not Polish speakers. However, changes over time—that is, the first increasingand then declining numbers of Polish speakers—reflect the declining proportion of first generation immigrants in all those claiming Polish ancestry. Figure for 1991 from Jupp, op. cit., Table 1.

5 This figure has been calculated by subtracting those of Polish ancestry who stated their citizenship as ‘Other’ at the 2001 Census (4171 persons) from those who described themselves as Poland-born (column a).

Sources: For 1921–86: Bureau of Immigration Research 1991, Community Profiles Poland Born, Statistics Section, Bureau of Immigration Research, Canberra, Tables 1, 4 and 17;for 1991: Jupp, J. 1995, ‘Ethnic and cultural diversity in Australia’, Year Book Australia, 1995, 1301.0–1/01/1995, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, Table 1;for 1996–2006: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2007, 2006 Community Profile Series, Cat. no. 2003.0, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, Tables T08–10; Australian Bureau of Statistics 2003, Australian Social Trends, 2003, 4102.0–03/06/2003, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, for second generation in 2001; and Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, Year Book Australia, 2004, 1301.0–27/01/2004, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, Table A.2, p. 92.

Table 5.2 Polish nationality by country of birth and age

Polish nationality

Born in (per cent)

Respondents

Poland

(%)

Australia

(%)

Other

(%)

Not stated

(%)

Count

(no)

Per cent of respondents

(%)

No

48

32

19

1

109

33

Yes

94

3

2

1

220

66

Not stated

75

0

0

25

6

1

Total

79

12

8

1

335

100

 

Polish nationality

Age groups (years)

Respondents

<29

(%)

30–54

(%)

55–64

(%)

<65

(%)

Counta

(no.)

Per cent of respondents

(%)

No

9

23

31

34

109

33

Yes

5

41

26

26

220

66

Not stated

0

25

25

50

6

1

Total

6

34

28

29

335

100

a This count also includes all those who did not state their age (11 people or 3 per cent of the sample). Thus, percentages in rows may not add up to 100 per cent.

Source: Polish survey.

Table 5.3 Polish nationality, Polish passport-holders and voters

Polish nationality

Polish passport-holders (%)

Respondents

No

(%)

Yes

(%)

Not stated

(%)

Count

(no.)

Per cent of respondents

(%)

No

100

0

0

109

33

Yes

29

68

3

220

66

Not stated

0

0

100

6

1

Total

52

44

4

335

100

 

Polish nationality

Vote in Polish elections (%)

Respondents

No

(%)

Yes

(%)

Not stated

(%)

Count

(no.)

Per cent of respondents

(%)

No

100

0

0

109

33

Yes

65

21

14

220

66

Not stated

0

0

100a

6

1

Total

76

14

10

335

100

a One person was a Polish voter but did not state his/her Polish nationality and has therefore been excluded from the group of Polish voters.

Source: Polish survey.

Table 5.4 National identity by country of birth and age

Stated national identity

Born in (%)

Respondents

Poland

(%)

Australia

(%)

Other

(%)

Not stated

(%)

Count

(no.)

Per cent of respondents

(%)

Australian

54

27

16

3

37

11

Australian-Polish

70

19

11

0

110

33

Polish

96

4

0

0

23

7

Polish- Australian

93

3

3

1

146

44

Other

40

27

27

6

15

4

Not stated

75

0

25

0

4

1

Total

79

12

8

1

335

100

 

Stated national identity

Age groups (years)

Respondents

<29

(%)

30–54

(%)

55–64

(%)

<65

(%)

Counta

(no.)

Per cent of respondents

(%)

Australian

11

27

32

30

37

11

Australian-Polish

6

40

31

21

110

33

Polish

9

44

9

35

23

7

Polish- Australian

4

32

25

34

146

44

Other

13

27

33

27

15

4

Not stated

0

0

50

50

4

1

Total

6

34

28

29

335

100

a This count also includes all those who did not state their age (11 people or 3 per cent of the sample). Thus, percentages in rows may not add up to 100 per cent.

Source: Polish survey.

Table 5.A1 Country of birth by age group of sample respondents and country of birth of their parents

Age group

(years)

Survey respondent born in (%)

Respondents

Poland

(%)

Australia

(%)

Other

(%)

Not stated

(%)

Count

(no.)

Per cent of all responses

(%)

20–29

53

37

5

5

19

6

30–54

77

19

3

1

115

34

55–64

72

11

16

1

92

28

65 and over

93

1

6

0

97

29

Not stated

82

-

9

9

11

3

Total

79

12

8

1

334a

100

 

Parent

Respondent’s parent born in (%)

Respondents

Poland

(%)

Australia

(%)

Other

(%)

Not stated

(%)

Count

(no)

Per cent of all responses

(%)

Mother

92

2

4

3

335

100

Father

90

1

6

3

335

100

a As there was only one respondent in the ‘age under 20’ group, this age group has been excluded from the table.

Source: Polish survey.

Table 5.A2 Length of residence in Australia by country of birth

Length of residence in years

Born in (%)

Respondents

Poland

(%)

Australia

(%)

Other

(%)

Not stated

(%)

Count

(no.)

Per cent of respondents

(%)

Less than 5

0

0

0

0

1

0

5–9

75

8

17

0

12

4

10–19

93

2

3

2

60

18

20 and over

76

15

9

0

252

75

Not stated

60

20

10

10

10

3

Total

79

12

8

1

335

100

Source: Polish survey.

Table 5.A3 Language spoken at home by country of birth and age

Language spoken at home

Born in (%)

Respondents

Poland

(%)

Australia

(%)

Other

(%)

Not stated

(%)

Count

(no.)

Per cent of respondents

(%)

English only

54

36

10

0

70

21

Polish only

93

3

4

0

74

22

English and Polish

82

7

9

2

186

56

Other

60

20

20

0

5

2

Total

79

12

8

1

335

100b

 

Language spoken at home

Age groups (years)

Respondents

<29

(%)

30–54

(%)

55–64

(%)

<65

(%)

Counta

(no.)

Per cent of respondents

(%)

English only

7

40

33

19

70

21

Polish only

10

32

19

35

74

22

English and Polish

4

33

29

30

186

56

Other

0

20

40

40

5

2

Total

6

34

28

29

335

100b

a This count also includes all those who did not state their age (11 people or 3 per cent of the sample). Thus, percentages in rows may not add up to 100 per cent.

b Percentages of respondents do not add to 100 per cent due to rounding errors.

Source: Polish survey.

 




[42] BIR, Community Profiles Poland Born.

[43] Ibid. , p. vi.

[44] ABS 1991, ‘Recent trends in overseas migration’, Australian Economic Indicators, Oct 1991, 1350.0–18/11/1991, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, Table 2.

[45] Ibid.

[46] The age distribution of this population reflects the influence of the two migrant waves: nearly 37 per cent of Poland-born in 2006 were aged sixty-four and over, 37 per cent were aged forty-five–sixty-four, 20 per cent were aged twenty-five–forty-four, and 6 per cent were aged twenty-four or younger (ABS, 2006 Census of Population and Housing, Census Tables, Table ‘Country of Birth of Person by Age by Sex’).

[47] ABS 2007, 2006 Census of Population and Housing, Census Tables, Cat. no. 2068.0, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, Table ‘Country of Birth of Person by Year of Arrival in Australia’.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIC) 2007, Immigration Update, July–December 2006, Research and Statistics Section, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Canberra, Table 1.7, pp. 20–1.

[50] ABS, Migration, Australia, 2005–06.

[51] Bunda, M. 2006, ‘Wielki odjazd [Big departure]’, Polityka, vol. 8, 2006.

[52] DIC, Immigration Update, July–December 2006.

[53] However, there was also a more modest outflow of temporary job seekers to North America (ibid.).

[54] See Carrington, K., McIntosh, A. and Walmsley, J. (eds) 2007, The Social Costs and Benefits of Migration into Australia, Centre for Applied Research in Social Sciences, University of New England, Armidale.

[55] Productivity Commission 2006, Economic impacts of migration and population growth, Productivity Commission Research Report, Productivity Commission, Australian Government, Melbourne, 24 April 2006.

[56] Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 2002, International Mobility of the Highly Skilled, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris.

[57] Hugo, ‘Centenary article’, p. 14.

[58] DIC 2007, Emigration 2006–07 Australia, Programme Statistics and Monitoring Section, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Canberra, Table 6.

[59] Ibid., Tables 1.10 and 1.13, pp. 24–5, 29.

[60] BIR, Community Profiles Poland Born, Tables 1–2, pp. 1–2.

[61] ABS 2008, 2006 Census Data by Location, 2006 Census Tables, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, Table 20680.

[62] ‘A normal immigration pattern is for arrivals to be in their mid-twenties and to produce most of their children after arrival’ (Jupp, ‘Ethnic and cultural diversity in Australia’). For example, in 1959, 68 per cent of settlers were twenty-nine or younger and, in 1990, 59 per cent were (ABS, ‘Recent trends in overseas migration’, Australian Economic Indicators, Oct. 1991).

[63] For example, of those who stated their ancestry as Polish in 2001, nearly 7.5 per cent gave ‘Australian’ as their other ancestry.

[64] ABS, Year Book Australia, 2004, Tables 2.6 and 2.7, pp. 22–3.

[65] Ibid., Table 4.1, p. 46.

[66] Ibid., Table 4.2, p. 50.

[67] Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) 2003, Statistical Focus, 2001: Classification of countries into English proficiency groups, C01.2.0, Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Canberra, July 2003.

[68] Ibid, Tables 1 and 2, pp. 16, 19.

[69] ABS, 2006 Census of Population and Housing, Census Tables, Table ‘Country of Birth of Person by Proficiency in Spoken English/Language by Sex’.

[70] ABS 2002, Australian Social Trends, 2002, 4102.0–09/05/2002, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.

[71] Some 2 per cent did not state their proficiency.

[72] ABS, Australian Social Trends, 2002, Table A.1:90; and ABS, Year Book Australia, 2007, Table 12.35.

[73] There were more than 3.7 million Catholics in Australia in 2001, of whom 74 per cent were Australia-born (DIMIA 2003, The People of Australia, Statistics from the 2001 Census, Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Canberra, July 2003, Table 10, p. 48).

[74] BIR, Community Profiles Poland Born.

[75] For example, in 2001–02, only 328 Poland-born people acquired Australian citizenship (ABS, Year Book Australia, 2004, Table 5.53).

[76] Ibid., Table 1.1.

[77] Ibid., Table A.2, p. 92.

[78] Also, as some of those Poland-born people are not Polish, they may hold dual citizenship with countries other than Poland.

[79] Some 3 per cent did not state how they became Australian citizens.

[80] Travelling to Poland on a Polish passport simplifies entry requirements while the use of an Australian passport is advantageous on re-entry to Australia.

[81] Some 44 per cent of Polish passport-holders are aged thirty–fifty-four, 29 per cent are fifty-five–sixty-four and 20 per cent are over sixty-five.

[82] During parliamentary elections in Poland, polling stations are open at Polish consular offices overseas.

[83] The ‘Other’ category included self-descriptions such as: ‘I am an Australian of Polish descent’, ‘I am primarily Australian but proud of my Polish heritage’, ‘Of Polish descent, born in England, now living in Europe’, ‘Australian-Polish-Latvian’, ‘Australian with Polish parents’, ‘Australian with dual nationality and Polish background’, and the aforementioned, ‘By birth: Canadian, by citizenship: Australian, by parentage: Anglo-Polish, by culture: Polish, by upbringing: European’.

[84] Some 11 people or 3 per cent of the sample did not state their age.

[85] ABS, 2006 Census of Population and Housing, Census Tables, Table ‘Country of Birth of Persons by Age by Sex’.

[86] Four people did not state their country of birth.