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20.4.10 will be one of the largest communities in this country in the next 15 years when Australia-born families will become a minority group, a media report said on Sunday citing statistics from a consulting firm.

Outnumbered by a surging wave of migrants from Europe and Asia, especially from India and China, Australians will become a minority group in their own country within 15 years, Australia-based 'Daily Telegraph' reported quoting figures from demographic consultants Macroplan Australia.

It said most migrants came from Britain (14.2%), followed by New Zealand (11.4%), India (11.2), China (10.5%) South Africa (5.3%) and the Philippines (4.1%).

"Figures from Macroplan Australia show record overseas migration and an ageing population mean migrant families will overtake the number of locally born residents by 2025 - far sooner than previously imagined," the newspaper reported.

According to 2006 census data, 40% of Australia's population was either born overseas or had at least one parent who was born abroad. With the current immigration levels that proportion will jump to over 50% by 2025.

The newly-appointed first Population Minister Tony Burke now faces the task of managing the influx of migrants, which is expected to swell the population from 22 million today to 36 million by 2050.

Dancers perform during the concert by Indian composer A.R. Rahman in Parramatta Park.In a survey of 3,000 people conducted after Burke was sworn in, 70% of Australians said they do not want a bigger population. Fewer than a quarter favoured immigration as the main contributor.

But experts said a migrant majority will be healthy for Australian culture and attitudes.

More Indians came to Australia more than fifty years ago while both Australia and India were British colonies.

"It all adds to the cosmopolitan nature of modern Australia," KPMG demographer Bernard Salt said.

"It means our views become less blinkered, and we become more tolerant, confident, engaged, opportunistic and optimistic because we are open to new ideas, not obsessed with keeping things the same."

Macroplan chief executive Brian Haratsis said Australians tended to "stare at our shoes and say we're the best in the world".

There are two Sikh temples in Wolgoolga. One of them even has a Museum on Sikhism. A large number of British and Anglo Indians who born in India migrated to Australia after 1947. These British citizens decided to settle in Australia in large numbers but are still counted as 'Indian' Nationals in the Census. You will be surprised to find that a full blooded Australian looking old man will whisper to you in Hindi or Urdu.

In 1998 we have started seeing the replacement of counter staff and chefs at McDonalds and other places by young, bright and attentive Indian students. I guess the plight of Indian students in Australia is that of Indian student migration to USA during the 1970's. We will see many of these young boys becoming future millionaires in Australia in the year 2010 and beyond.

"While immigration needs to be managed with better infrastructure, we also need high immigration for sound economic reasons - if we don't, we'll all end up paying higher taxes."

Bob Birrell, co-director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research and reader in sociology at Monash University, said the ratio of foreign-born residents was already higher in Sydney and Melbourne because they were the two most popular destinations for new arrivals."We're getting lots more Indian and Chinese immigrants coming to study, but many of those will end up settling here," Birrell said.

The Federal Government estimates that cutting immigration from 280,000 to its target of 180,000 will result in a population of 36 million by 2050.

But it also means the number of working taxpayers will halve in relation to the number of people aged over 65. Salt said there would be more Iraqi and Afghan migrants.



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