Australians with Latvian ancestry top 20,000

The number of people claiming Latvian ancestry in Australia has increased over five years and now tops 20,000, with females outnumbering males by 1,000, according to new census results.

A total of 20,058 people claimed Latvian ancestry in the 2006 census, according to results reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Of those, 10,529 were female and 9,529 were male.

In 2001, a total of 18,938 persons claimed Latvian ancestry.

Broken down by states, census results show that New South Wales had the largest population with Latvian ancestry, a total of 5,879, followed by Victoria (5,771), South Australia (2,933), Queensland (2,610), Western Australia (1,792), the Australian Capital Territory (603), Tasmania (331) and the Northern Territory (145). Of the country’s major cities, Melbourne had the largest Latvian ancestral population with 4,609.

The number of people in Australia with Lithuanian ancestry stood at 13,276 and the number with Estonian ancestry was 8,232.

More than 250 different ancestries were reported in the census and many people claimed more than one, the statistics bureau said in a press release. Australian was the most popular ancestry, with 37 percent of census respondents claiming it. English, Irish and Scottish were the next most popular. Respondents were asked to report at least one ancestry, but no more than two ancestries.

The latest Australian census was held Aug. 8, 2006, and results began to be available in June of this year. Australia conducts a census every five years.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

4 thoughts on “Australians with Latvian ancestry top 20,000

  1. According to the Australian Honorary Consul in Latvia there are around 52 Australians living in Latvia. So it seems there is a shameful message older Latvians in Australia are communicating to their offspring.

  2. Maybe with little encouragement from Latvians in Australia to reconnect to Latvia then it falls on Latvia to attract Australians to reconnect.

    Australia is one of 53 countries that make up the Commonwealth of Nations. Latvia can also be a member of the Commonwealth and access the resources available to all members as well as participate in the Commonwealth Games second only to the Olympic Games.

    Canada and Australia are Commonwealth members with values that enabled the acceptance of the most amount of Latvians fleeing waring Europe. A Canadian citizen has held the Latvian Presidency for 8 years and Latvians enjoy visa free travel to Canada.

    Trinidad and Tobago are Commonwealth members and were once a colony of Courlanders of Latvia.

    There are no Commonwealth members in the Baltic Sea Region and this would enable Latvia to have another differentiator in the region that would contribute towards an economic competitive advantage.

    Currently Malta and the United Kingdom are the only two members of the Commonwealth of Nations within the EU.

    Latvia joining the Commonwealth would lift the profile of Latvia with Australians.

  3. Offer of free accommodation in Riga and free visa processing assistance for all people with Latvian Heritage that would like to obtain their 5 year renewable Residency Visa. See The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia website for more information.

  4. this is all fine but do not forget your roots and do not ever forget why you ended up in the farthest corner of the earth. Do not forget that it was the russian who displaced you. Individually there are some ok ruskies but that collectively they are the same colonisers and exploiters that my grandfather fought against. They have not changed and are on the march again. Beware!!!! Discredit the
    ruski whenever you can. When I read the long list of Latvian refugees that were forced to flee their native country there can be no forgiveness. Like the Jews, let us not forget and keep reminding the world of the russian holocaust against the Baltic people.

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