A survey of expats in Australia reports a "high level of satisfaction," but warns that a "relatively high" number of new arrivals face discrimination based on their ethnicity or religious beliefs.
The findings have been published in Mapping Social Cohesion: Recent Arrivals
Report, a new study from Australia's Scanlon Foundation authored by
Andrew Markus of Monash University. The survey included feedback on the experience of 2,324 persons who relocated to Australia. Two thirds arrived between 2000 and 2010, and many relocated on the basis of their skills or education.
54 percent said that they are "very happy" or
"happy" with life in Australia, with a further 24 percent saying they
are "neither happy nor unhappy." As regards financial circumstances,
43 percent said they were satisfied, and a further 25 percent "neither
satisfied nor dissatisfied." 70 percent agreed with the
proposition that working hard in Australia brings an improved quality of living, and a
further 17 percent said they "neither agree nor disagree" with the statement.
However, 36 percent of immigrants on average reported experiencing
discrimination, rising to 44 percent for immigrants from China and
Hong Kong, and to 46 percent from India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and
Malaysia. In total, 41 percent of recent arrivals with a non-English
speaking background complained of discrimination, against a national
average of 16 percent.
The survey also found high levels of continued contact with new
arrivals' home countries, with 69 percent of those who arrived in
2000-2010 maintaining contact with friends and relatives several times
a week or every day, and 45 percent of Asian immigrants who arrived
during this period making yearly visits home. More than half continue
to access news media from their home country online, while 32 percent
regularly watch media from their home country via cable or satellite.
On citizenship and identity, 92 percent of respondents from China or
Hong had become citizens, 89 percent of those from India or Sri Lanka,
88 percent from South Africa or Zimbabwe, 76 percent from the United
Kingdom and Ireland, and 66 percent from the USA or Canada. 52
percent of those persons that arrived during 2000 and 2010 identified as an
Australian, compared with 74 percent of those surveyed that arrived between 1990-2000. Those born in India or
Sri Lanka were most likely to identify with Australia, with 75 percent agreeing. Persons from New Zealand were the least likely to do so. The study points
out that settlers from New Zealand have an "easy path" to permanent
residence, but not to citizenship.
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