Skip to content

The melting-pot and the economic integration of immigrant families: ancestral and generational variations in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2663-2682
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number12
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Oct 2015
DatePublished (current) - 1 Dec 2015


The melting-pot argument, whereby economically heterogeneous multi-cultural societies, characterised by high levels of immigration from a variety of origins, become more homogeneous over time, has attracted much attention, especially in North America. Australia has similarly experienced major waves of immigration from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. This paper reports successful tests of hypotheses, derived from the melting-pot model, that economic integration of immigrant groups there has also resulted in reduced inter-group occupational and income differences across successive generations, but that the pace of integration can vary across ethnic groups. Using a bespoke tabulation from the 2011 Australian census we explore differences among ten immigrant (ancestry) groups in their educational qualifications, and their occupational and income distributions, using a recently developed method to identify significant patterns within large contingency tables. We find that by the third generation there were no substantial differences either across the ten groups chosen to represent four main waves of immigration to Australia or between these groups and the non-immigrant population.

    Research areas

  • ancestry, Australia, economic integration, immigration, melting-pot

Download statistics

No data available



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Sage at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 366 KB, PDF document


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups