Immigration and Nation Building

Immigration and Nation Building

Australia and Israel Compared

Monash Studies in Global Movements series

Edited by Andrew Markus and Moshe Semyonov

This insightful study explores the growth of the two largest post-industrial immigrant nations since the Second World War – Australia and Israel. Almost one in four Australians were born outside the country, more than one in three Israelis.


Andrew Markus and Moshe Semyonov

Subjects: development studies, migration, politics and public policy, international politics, public policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, labour policy, migration, urban and regional studies, migration


Andrew Markus and Moshe Semyonov Australia and Israel are nations of immigrants, with the highest and second highest proportion of overseas-born amongst the industrialized nations. Some 34 per cent of Israel’s population were born outside the country, compared to 24 per cent in Australia, 19 per cent in Canada, 12 per cent in the USA and 9 per cent in the UK. Despite a number of similarities, the two societies differ considerably in the composition of their populations, in the scope and history of migration flows as well as in their size, economic structures and in their social and migration policies. In 2009 Israel’s population numbered an estimated 7.5 million, Australia’s population 21.8 million. While the differential in the populations of the two countries is in the ratio 3:1, the differential on many economic indicators is of the order of 4:1 or 5:1. Thus Israel’s GDP is 25 per cent of Australia’s, its budget revenues are 20 per cent of Australia’s. The Israeli labour force of 2.95 million workers is 26 per cent of Australia’s 11.21 million workers. Per capita income in Israel at US$28 200 is 75 per cent of the Australian per capita of US$37 700. Public debt as a proportion of GDP is 15.4 per cent in Australia and 75.7 per cent in Israel. The purpose of this book is to examine similarities and differences in the incorporation of immigrants into the two societies. It considers the relative positions of the native...