A nation of immigrants or a nation of immigrant cities? The urban context of Australian multiculturalism, 1947-2011

Seamus Patrick O'Hanlon, Rachel Ann Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The article documents the urban dimension of Australia's immigration experience that, since the 1940s, has seen the country become one of the world's most multicultural societies. The article argues that the greatest impact of immigration has been in the major cities, especially Sydney and Melbourne, which in recent decades have emerged as internationally-significant immigrant hubs that, like similar immigrant-receiving destinations across the globe, are increasingly demographically and culturally distinct from their host nation. Drawing on census materials, oral history interviews, local newspapers and other sources, we chart the demographic transformation of urban Australia from the 1940s to the present day and suggest that these changes have implications for how urban Australians — especially those resident in the two biggest cities — will understand and represent themselves and the nation into the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-571
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Politics and History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2017


  • Australian History
  • Urban History
  • Multiculturalism
  • Immigration History

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