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At 30 June 2011, 27% of the Australian population was born overseas.

9% of the Australian population was born overseas in ‘main English-speaking countries’—that is, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America and South Africa. Another 18% were born in other overseas countries which are often referred to collectively as ‘non-main English-speaking countries’.

People born overseas are generally in good health on their arrival in Australia because of the rigorous health checks they are subjected to to be eligible for migration. Studies have shown that for many conditions migrants have better health status and use fewer health services than the Australian-born population. It has also been shown that for some conditions this 'healthy migrant effect' wanes as their length of time in Australia increases.

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