Discrimination

Racism in Australia: How Much and Who?

Immigration Trends:

Between 1975 and 2005, 42% of Australia’s population growth was because of immigration.[1]

In 2012, 60% of Australia’s population growth was because of immigration.[2]

  • Over 1 in 4 Australians are born overseas.[3]
  • There are 5.3 million First Generation Australians and counting.[4]
  • Over 1 in 5 Australians have a parent who was born overseas.[5]
  • There are 4.1 million Second Generation Australians and counting.[6]

Language Diversity:

  • Almost half (49%) of long-standing migrants and 67% of recent arrivals speak a language other than English at home.[7]
  • Australians speak over 200 languages. 50 of these are Indigenous languages.[8]

Rates of racism are much higher for those who speak a language other than English (In the Workplace 36%; In Education 30%; Housing 16%; Policing 16%).[9]

 

General Stats on Racism:

  • 1 in 5 Australians have been a target of verbal racial abuse. Verbal abuse is the most common form of racism.[10]
  • 7 in 10 teenagers experience racism.[11]
  • 3 in 4 Indigenous Australians experience racism regularly.[12]

Complaints of Racism to the Human Rights Commission rose 60% in the last few years.[13]

More than 1 in 20 Australians say they have been physically assaulted because of their race.[14]

Cultural Diversity:

  • 50% of Australians are positive about cultural diversity.[15]
  • 40% of Australians are ambivalent about cultural diversity.[16]
  • 10% of Australians hold actively racist attitudes: negative about cultural diversity and immigration, and hold one race as superior or inferior to another.[17]

Forty-five per cent of Sydney respondents (In a survey of 5056 across NSW) agreed that Australia is weakened by people of different ethnic origins ‘sticking to their old ways’.[18]

A sample of 5056 in NSW revealed that about 8.5 percent deny racism exists at all.[19]

 

Immigration:

Muslim and Islamic Australians face the greatest proportion of racism among immigrant sub-groups.[20]

Country of Origin Comparison:

  • 31% of Islamic Australians report being discriminated against.[21]
  • 21% of (African and Middle Eastern born) Australians report being discriminated against.[22]
  • 20% of (Asian born) Australians report being discriminated against.[23]

25% of Australians hold negative views of Muslims.[24]

25% of Australians hold negative views of people from Lebanon and Iraq.[25]

Health:

Racism against Indigenous Australians causes psychological distress, diabetes, smoking and substance abuse, depression, poor mental health, poor physical health and increased marijuana and alcohol use.[26]

 

Racism causes a range of healthy problems including high blood pressure and heart disease, depression, anxiety, low birth rate and premature birth.[27]

Economic Costs:

Reduced productivity and absenteeism -> An estimated 70% of workers exposed to racism and other forms of discrimination take time off work as a result.[28]

For every employee on $40,000 per year who takes a fortnight’s stress leave due to racial discrimination, it costs a business $1,855.[29]

Responding to racism grievances through formal complaints mechanisms costs a large amount to the individual, the courts and the economy. These procedures average around $55,000 per case.[30]

 

Employment:

To get as many job interviews as an Anglo applicant, an Indigenous applicant must submit 35% more applications, a Chinese person 68% more, an Italian person 12% more, and a Middle Eastern person 64% more applications.[31]

(Australian IT and Finance Workers, 2012) – The study by Balance Recruitment canvassed the opinions of almost 1,000 workers, and showed some 72% believe racism exists in their industry, and a further 30% have experienced racism first hand in their workplace.

 

References:

[1] Prof. Andrew Markus, Population Growth, Scanlon Foundation Social Research Program, Monash University (2013); Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian Demographic Statistics, December 2012 <http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/mapping-population/population-growth.php&gt;

[2] Prof. Andrew Markus, Population Growth, Scanlon Foundation Social Research Program, Monash University (2013); Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian Demographic Statistics, December 2012 <http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/mapping-population/population-growth.php&gt;

[3] Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Cultural Diversity in Australia, Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012-2013. <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/2071.0main+features902012-2013&gt;

[4] Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Cultural Diversity in Australia, Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012-2013. <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/2071.0main+features902012-2013&gt;

[5] Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Cultural Diversity in Australia, Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012-2013. <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/2071.0main+features902012-2013&gt;

[6] Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Cultural Diversity in Australia, Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012-2013. <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/2071.0main+features902012-2013&gt;

[7] Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Cultural Diversity in Australia, Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012-2013.

[8] Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011 Census.

[9] Kevin M. Dunn, Racism in Australia: Findings of a Survey on Racist Attitudes and Experiences of Racism, Challenges of Immigration and Integration in the European Union and Australia, (2013) University of Sydney.

[10] Challenging Racism: The Anti-Racism Research Project, UWS

[11] The Impact of Racism upon the Health and Wellbeing of Young Australians, Foundation for Young Australians, Deakin University

[12] Challenging Racism: The Anti-Racism Research Project, UWS

[13] Australian Human Rights Commission, <http://www.humanrights.gov.au/complaints/complaint-guides/making-complaint/complaints-under-racial-discrimination-act&gt;; Tim Soutphommasane, Racism at Work Damages Productivity, Says Commissioner (2013) <http://www.ihraustralia.com/news-and-opinion/racism-at-work-damages-productivity-says-commissioner&gt;

[14] The Australian Human Rights Commission: Racism: It Stops With Me Campaign,

[15] Mapping Social Cohesion Report, (2009, 2011) Scanlon Foundation, Australia

[16] Mapping Social Cohesion Report, (2009, 2011) Scanlon Foundation, Australia

[17] Mapping Social Cohesion Report, (2009, 2011) Scanlon Foundation, Australia

[18] Kevin M. Dunn, Racism in Australia: Findings of a Survey on Racist Attitudes and Experiences of Racism, Challenges of Immigration and Integration in the European Union and Australia, (2013) University of Sydney.

[19] Kevin M. Dunn, Racism in Australia: Findings of a Survey on Racist Attitudes and Experiences of Racism, Challenges of Immigration and Integration in the European Union and Australia, (2013) University of Sydney.

[20] Mapping Social Cohesion 2011 Report, Scanlon Foundation, Australia

[21] Mapping Social Cohesion 2011 Report, Scanlon Foundation, Australia

[22] Mapping Social Cohesion 2011 Report, Scanlon Foundation, Australia

[23] Mapping Social Cohesion 2011 Report, Scanlon Foundation, Australia

[24] Mapping Social Cohesion 2011 Report, Scanlon Foundation, Australia

[25] Mapping Social Cohesion 2011 Report, Scanlon Foundation, Australia

[26] Yin Paradies, Ricci Harris, Ian Anderson, The Impact of Racism on Indigenous Health in Australia and Aotearoa: Towards a Research Agenda, Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health, Discussion Paper Series: No. 4.

[27] The Lowitja Institute, Research: Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Stair Islander Health Research.

[28] Equal Opportunity Commission of New South Wales. Managing For Diversity. Sydney: Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW; 1999.

[29] NSW Public Service Commission, Equity and Diversity.

[30] Equal Opportunity Commission of New South Wales. Managing For Diversity. Sydney: Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW; 1999.

[31] Alison Booth, Andrew Leigh, Elena Varganova, Does Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence From a Field Experiment, IZA DP 4947, 2010.

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