The Albania-born Community
The first recorded Albanian to settle in Australia was Naum Konxha who arrived in Brisbane in 1885 with his English wife and decided to stay permanently. However, the first significant Albanian migration to Australia started in the 1920s after the United States of America placed migration quota restrictions for Southern Europeans.
Many Albanians who arrived in the 1920s settled in rural areas and engaged in agriculture related employment – mainly fruit growing.
The 1933 Australian Census recorded 770 Albania-born living in Australia, mostly in Queensland and Victoria. Many Muslim Albanians settled around Mareeba in northern Queensland and most of the Christian Albanians settled in Brisbane. In Victoria, most Albanians settled around Shepparton in the Goulburn Valley fruit growing district.
The communist regime which ruled the post-war Albania placed immigration restrictions on its citizens. As a result only a small number of post-war refugees arrived in Australia after World War II. These restrictions remained in place until the 1990s.
A small number of Albania-born continue to migrate to Australia.
The latest Census in 2011 recorded 2398 Albania-born people in Australia, an increase of 19 per cent from the 2006 Census. The 2011 distribution by state and territory showed Victoria had the largest number with 1500 followed by South Australia (309), Queensland (224) and New South Wales (198).
Age and Sex
The median age of the Albania-born in 2011 was 39 years compared with 45 years for all overseas-born and 37 years for the total Australian population.
The age distribution showed 3.6 per cent were aged 0-14 years, 13.3 per cent were 15-24 years, 42.5 per cent were 25-44 years, 25.2 per cent were 45-64 years and 15.4 per cent were 65 years and over.
Of the Albania-born in Australia, there were 1199 males (50 per cent) and 1199 females (50 per cent). The sex ratio was 100 males per 100 females.
In the 2011 Census, the top ancestry responses* that Albania-born people reported were Albanian (2070), Greek (85) and English (49).
In the 2011 Census, Australians reported around 300 different ancestries. Of the total ancestry responses*, 13 142 responses were towards Albanian ancestry.
*At the 2011 Census up to two responses per person were allowed for the Ancestry question; therefore providing the total responses and not persons count.
The main languages spoken at home by Albania-born people in Australia were Albanian (1830), English (222) and Greek (154).
Of the 2175 Albania-born who spoke a language other than English at home, 68.1 per cent spoke English very well or well, and 29 per cent spoke English not well or not at all.
At the 2011 Census the major religious affiliations amongst Albania-born were Islam (958), Catholic (422) and Eastern Orthodox (292).
Of the Albania-born, 18.5 per cent stated 'No Religion' which was lower than that of the total Australian population (22.3 per cent), and 8.1 per cent did not state a religion.
Compared to 62 per cent of the total overseas-born population, 44.8 per cent of the Albania-born people in Australia arrived in Australia prior to 2001.
Among the total Albania-born in Australia at the 2011 Census, 31.1 per cent arrived between 2001 and 2006 and 19 per cent arrived between 2007 and 2011.
At the time of the 2011 Census, the median individual weekly income for the Albania-born in Australia aged 15 years and over was $349, compared with $538 for all overseas-born and $597 for all Australia-born. The total Australian population had a median individual weekly income of $577.
At the 2011 Census, 38.3 per cent of the Albania-born aged 15 years and over had some form of higher non-school qualifications compared to 55.9 per cent of the Australian population.
Of the Albania-born aged 15 years and over, 7.6 per cent were still attending an educational institution. The corresponding rate for the total Australian population was 8.6 per cent.
Among Albania-born people aged 15 years and over, the participation rate in the labour force was 52.8 per cent and the unemployment rate was 11.2 per cent. The corresponding rates in the total Australian population were 65 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively.
Of the 1048 Albania-born who were employed, 45.8 per cent were employed in either a skilled managerial, professional or trade occupation. The corresponding rate in the total Australian population was 48.4 per cent.
Produced by the Community Relations Section of DIAC All data used in this summary is sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing. Sources for the Historical Background are available on our website.
© Commonwealth of Australia.