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FACT SHEET: Muslim & Arab Australians in New South Wales


1. Muslim Australians

  • Total number of Muslims in Australia: 281,578
  • Total number of Muslims in New South Wales: 140,097
  • Proportion of the Australian population who are Muslim: 1.5%
  • Proportion of the NSW population who are Muslim: 2.2%

*Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2001 Census.

Figure 1: Australian Muslim population by state and territory
 Australian Muslim population by state and territory. Click here to text version.

Source: ABS, 2001 Census. Basic Community Snapshots and Profiles.
Click here for text only version.

Table 1: Geographic Distribution of Muslims in Australia, 2001
State/territory
Proportion of all Australian Muslims
Proportion of total state or territory population
New South Wales 50% 2.2%
Victoria 33% 2.0%
Western Australia 7% 1.1%
Queensland 5% 0.4%
South Australia 3% 0.5%
Australian Capital Territory 1% 1.1%
Northern Territory 0.3% 0.5%
Tasmania 0.3% 0.2%
Total
100%
1.5%

Source: ABS, 2001 Census.

Table 2: Distribution of Australian Muslims by major statistical local areas in Sydney, 2001
Statistical local area Number
Bankstown (C) 19,538
Canterbury (C) 15,073
Auburn (A) 13,083
Liverpool (C) 11,554
Parramatta (C) 10,025
Rockdale (C) 7,206
Fairfield (C) 6,829
Holroyd (C) 5,267
Campbelltown (C) 4,778
Blacktown (C) - South-West 4,009
Blacktown (C) - South-East 3,647
Botany Bay (C) 2,946
Marrickville (A) 2,789
Penrith (C) 2,394
Hurstville (C) 2,209
Baulkham Hills (A) 2,090
Hornsby (A) 1,996
Ryde (C) 1,856
Randwick (C) 1,849
Kogarah (A) 1,558
South Sydney (C) 1,523
Blacktown (C) - North 1,460


2. Arab & Middle-Eastern Australians

  • Total number of Australians born in the Middle East or North Africa in Australia: 213,940 (1.1% of the national population)
  • Total number Australians born in the Middle East or North Africa in New South Wales: 126,697 (2% of the NSW state population)

*Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2001 Census.

Definitions

Defining who is an ‘Arab’ or exactly which countries lie within the Middle East is a complex matter.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines the Middle East as: Bahrain, Gaza Strip and West Bank (Palestine), Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen. North Africa is defined as: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and the Western Sahara. ‘Arab’ includes: Algerian, Egyptian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Kuwaiti, Lebanese, Libyan, Moroccan, Palestinian, Saudi Arabian, Syrian, Tunisian.

This summary uses ABS definitions and highlights specific countries of origin for a significant number of Australians. These countries are: Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Israel. Other Middle Eastern, North African and Arab countries with much smaller representation in Australian are grouped into two categories:

  • ‘Other Middle East’ (which includes Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen)
  • ‘Other North Africa’ (which includes Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Mauritania, Djibouti and Western Sahara)
Table 3: Main countries of birth of Australians of Middle Eastern & North African origin, 2001
Country of birth
Number
Lebanon 71 349
Egypt 33 432
Turkey 29 821
Iraq 24 832
Iran 18 789
Syria 6 710
Israel 6 574
Other Middle East 13 212
Other North Africa 8 918
Other not further defined 303
Total
213 940

Source: ABS, 2001 Census, Unpublished data.

Figure 2: State & territory distribution of Australians born in the Middle East & North Africa, 2001
 State & territory distribution of Australians born in the Middle East & North Africa, 2001 . Click here to access text version.

Source: ABS, 2001 Census. Basic Community Profiles and Snapshots.
Click here for text only version.

Table 4: Australians born in the Middle East or North Africa in major statistical local areas of Sydney, 2001
Statistical Local Area
Egypt
Iran
Iraq
Lebanon
Syria
Turkey
Other Middle East
Other North Africa
Total
Fairfield (C)
535
1078
7881
2178
681
838
844
192
14227
Bankstown (C)
1108
108
362
10647
634
323
651
178
14011
Canterbury (C)
1088
90
481
7552
461
272
621
321
10886
Parramatta (C)
442
1008
533
5998
281
827
394
151
9634
Liverpool (C)
791
521
2200
3035
184
453
402
370
7956
Auburn (A)
155
169
928
2434
148
2487
329
91
6741
Holroyd (C)
377
469
481
3806
183
667
307
137
6427
Rockdale (C)
1201
73
151
2751
51
279
133
85
4724
Blacktown (C) - S-East
654
284
131
768
113
513
242
473
3178
Ryde (C)
356
1003
118
915
226
161
237
34
3050
Blacktown (C)-West
526
164
519
547
68
486
213
418
2941
Hornsby (A)
286
993
43
741
29
128
190
41
2451
Campbelltown (C)
580
104
194
929
106
101
291
71
2376
Baulkham Hills (A)
448
636
71
771
56
195
227
33
2437
Penrith (C)
585
244
199
559
78
226
186
78
2155
Randwick (C)
802
214
187
467
30
190
89
94
2073
Botany Bay (C)
583
133
391
252
25
482
46
84
1996
Hurstville (C)
776
48
39
858
46
47
83
93
1990
Marrickville (A)
290
43
35
1100
73
323
51
60
1975
Warringah (A)
320
477
55
194
138
155
93
65
1497
Blacktown (C) - North
388
232
43
294
17
227
135
73
1409
Kogarah (A)
498
32
39
632
16
61
36
51
1365
Willoughby (C)
214
350
35
348
147
100
95
33
1322
South Sydney (C)
179
99
38
388
20
235
71
62
1092
Burwood (A)
127
32
7
729
31
94
46
23
1089
Strathfield (A)
234
29
12
577
31
89
66
39
1077
S’land Shire (A) - West
460
20
32
365
27
44
60
25
1033
S’land Shire (A) - East
493
29
24
238
20
65
46
22
937
Ku-ring-gai (A)
154
423
16
128
19
72
86
21
919
Ashfield (A)
113
45
13
378
29
113
28
58
777
Waverley (A)
214
72
57
95
5
77
33
66
619
Concord (A)
128
19
8
288
9
80
24
8
564
Lane Cove (A)
102
161
13
73
15
60
31
15
470
North Sydney (A)
117
126
24
60
15
62
34
27
465
Woollahra (A)
185
59
42
61
3
40
22
35
447
Leichhardt (A)
109
50
12
126
9
78
32
18
434
Gosford (C)
160
64
10
77
14
33
24
29
411
Drummoyne (A)
173
25
6
95
7
100
12
8
426
Wyong (A)
150
23
16
53
11
23
22
11
309
Camden (A)
40
14
24
117
3
13
12
8
231
Manly (A)
82
41
7
12
0
48
12
32
234
Hawkesbury (C)
32
30
10
88
6
11
6
8
191
Blue Mountains (C)
52
16
17
58
6
17
11
7
184
Sydney (C) - Remainder
23
35
4
35
6
28
37
9
177
Hunter's Hill (A)
51
38
9
39
6
13
9
5
170
Pittwater (A)
36
40
8
31
5
9
20
8
157
Mosman (A)
48
37
11
17
8
19
12
13
165
Wollondilly (A)
19
20
13
89
0
5
10
6
162
Sydney (C) - Inner
22
10
6
15
0
6
6
5
70
Total for Sydney SD
16506
10030
15555
52008
4096
10975
6667
3794
119631


*Source: ABS, 2001 Census, Unpublished data


Race Discrimination Unit, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, July 2003. ABS data used with permission from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.