Irish Australians

Irish Australians (Irish: Gael-Astrálaigh) are an ethnic group of Australian citizens of Irish descent, which include immigrants from and descendants whose ancestry originates from the island of Ireland.

Irish Australians
Gael-Astrálaigh
Total population
c.7,000,000 (30% of the Australian population of partial Irish ancestry)[1][2][3]
80,000 (by birth, 2011)[4]
2,087,800 (self-declared Irish ancestry, 2011; 10.4% of the Australian population)
Regions with significant populations
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth
Languages
Australian English, Hiberno-English, Ulster Scots, Irish
Religion
Roman Catholic (majority), Protestantism (minority)
Related ethnic groups
Irish people, Overseas Irish Anglo-Celtic Australians, Scottish Australians, Welsh Australians, English Australians, Cornish Australians, Manx Australians, Irish Americans, Irish Britons, Irish New Zealanders

Irish Australians have played a considerable part in the history of Australia. They came to Australia from the late eighteenth century as convicts and free settlers wanting to immigrate from their homeland. Some of those who were transported to Australia, were prisoners of war, mainly those who fought in the 1798 Irish rebellion for independence, others were settlers who could not find a life during the Irish famine and the harsh years in Ireland afterwards. They contributed largely to Australia's development in many different areas. In the late 19th century Irish Australians constituted up to a third of the country's population.[5]

There is no definitive figure of the total number of Australians with an Irish background. At the 2011 Australian census, 2,087,800 residents identified themselves as having Irish ancestry either alone or in combination with another ancestry.[6] This nominated ancestry was third behind English and Australian in terms of the largest number of responses and represents 10.4% of the total population of Australia. However this figure does not include Australians with an Irish background who chose to nominate themselves as 'Australian' or other ancestries. The Australian embassy in Dublin states that up to 30% of the population claim some degree of Irish ancestry.[7]


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