Population On The Goldfields

The Start Of Multi-Cultural Australia

The Australian Colonies had gradually evolved into more than just a penal settlement. However the Gold Rush heralded an influx of immigrants out to seek their fortune.

It is estimated that between 1851 and 1860, about 500,000 people came to the Australian colonies from Great Britain. Of these 300,000 were from England and Wales,over 101,000 from Ireland and 100,000 from Scotland. At least 42,000 Chinese, and another 5,000 from around the South Pacific mainly New Zealand joined the rush.

People also arrived from North America and Europe, from Germany, France,Italy, Poland and Hungary.

Of these new immigrants, 60% went to the colony of Victoria. In 1854, the Ballarat goldfields alone had about 25,000 diggers and support people of all nationalities,including Aboriginal people. By 1858, the Victorian population peaked at 150,000, of whom over half were British and 40,000 were Chinese.