The Second Generation in Australia

For most purposes, the "second generation" refers to children born in Australia of parents born overseas. The assessment of numbers of second generation is rendered more difficult because the census tables refer to either father or mother being born overseas. In the latest census (1996), the number of Australia-born persons having a Maltese mother was stated as 104,143, while the number born to a Maltese father was given as 113,251. By subtracting the number persons in the first generation it is possible to get an estimate of the second generation Maltese-background persons. This is estimated at 62,382 for those having a Maltese-born father. (See Appendix, table 1)

Compared with the 1991 Census where the number of 2nd generation born to a Malta-born father was estimated at 61,857 (see Birrell & Khoo, 1995 p 3.) there appears to be only a minimal increase over the 5-year period.

To the above figure must be added the number born to Maltese -born mothers married to a non Maltese-born father. The intermarriage rage of Maltese-born women with a non-Maltese-born father varied from 9.8% in 1954 to over 50% in 1986 (see Cauchi 1990, page T12). The contribution this makes to the second generation is therefore variable depending on the age of second generation persons but can be up to 50% , and even higher for the younger persons. With this addition, the estimated number of second generation persons with at least one parent born in Malta is 89,015 (See Appendix)

The distribution of Maltese-background second generation persons within the various States of Australia follows the expected pattern, with Victoria leading with 46%, closely followed by NSW (40%). These two States between them account for 86% of the total second generation Maltese-background population in Australia (Appendix, Tables 2 & 3).

Source: Maurice N.Cauchi - The Maltese Migrant Experience, Malta 1999

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