North Americans have had contact with Australia since the 1700s. Many arrived due to the benefit of a strong trade relationship between the two countries. By 1901, 7,450 USA-born people were recorded living in Australia. In the ensuing years, many more visited, but few chose to permanently migrate. The post-war period between 1945 and 1960 saw a steady increase in arrival. By 1971, 39,040 Americans had settled in Australia. There has been a steady increase of arrivals since. Numbers have grown from 43,670 in 1991, to 53,720 in 2001, to 77,010 in 2011, and 86,125 in 2016.
While the majority of Americans living in Australia are of European backgrounds, the population also includes those with Hispanic and Latino, African American and Native American ancestry. Children (0-15yrs) and youth (16-25yrs) are strongly represented among the USA-born population compared to many other overseas-born populations in Australia. This indicates that American migration often incorporates entire family units. However, the biggest increase in American migration has been of women in their 20s.
Amongst the USA-born people in Australia, Catholic and Anglican Christianity (26.3%) are the major religious affiliations according to the 2011 Census. 36.3% identified with another religion and 32% claimed to be unaffiliated with any religion.
Many USA citizens see Australia’s employment opportunities and lifestyle more favourably. Due to thehistory between the two countries, many also find the culture to be very compatible with their own. In general, these cultural similarities afford North American migrants relative ease acculturating to Australia. They do not encounter the same language barriers, difficulties and social isolation that some other migrant groups face. The majority of Americans in Australia have been living in the country for a decade or longer, and are therefore relatively well settled in the country.