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By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial
26 March, 2014
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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