Inner city proves migrant magnet
South Korean imigrant Jim Wi in Northbridge. Picture: Dione Davidson/The West Australian

Perth has overtaken Melbourne as Australia's multicultural melting point as record numbers of migrants call the city home.

In the past decade the number of migrants in Perth rose 51 per cent - the fastest growth in any Australian capital, dwarfing Sydney (24 per cent) and Melbourne (31 per cent).

A special Australian Bureau of Statistics report says 37 per cent of Perth residents came from another country. Only Sydney, at 39 per cent, has a higher proportion.

Perth's migrant hotspot is inner-city Northbridge, where more than 68 per cent of residents were born in another country.

South Korean-born Jim Wi, 30, arrived in 2009 and moved to Northbridge two years later.

He said a big reason so many Asians settled in the suburb was their city upbringing. "About 80 per cent of people in South Korea live in city areas," he said.

"When Korean friends meet in Perth, normally they hang out in Northbridge because there are many multicultural grocery stores and restaurants."

Though loving single life in Northbridge, Mr Wi would probably move to an outer suburb if he had children.

"Day and night here are very different," he said. "At night, more than 68 per cent of people are Australian."

Northbridge has a spread of nationalities, unlike other suburbs where certainty nationalities have established themselves.

More than 42 per cent of Jindalee residents were born in Britain, among more than 180,000 British-born Perth residents, the city's biggest migrant group.

Other suburbs popular with Brits are Mindarie (34 per cent of residents), Connolly (33.4), Burns Beach (32.5) and Carramar (31.8).

Also in Jindalee, one in 10 locals was born in South Africa.

New Zealanders settled across the city but with groups in Leda (7.9 per cent) and Cockburn Central (7.2). Many of the city's 27,700 Indian-born residents live in Glendalough where they are more than one in six of the locals.

Nationally, half Australia's immigrants live in Sydney or Melbourne and Hobart has the smallest proportion.

More recent migrants are likely to live in major cities with those from Britain, Germany and the Netherlands most likely to live in the country.

The West Australian

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