NSW is the most culturally diverse state in Australia. According to ABS statistic, within NSW, 23.8% of the population were born overseas, with 16.8% of the population born in a non-primary English speaking country, a 7.9% increase between the 2001 to 2006 Census. NSW is also the largest settlement location in Australia, receiving approximately 41% of new arrivals since 2002.
The pattern of immigrant settlement is skewed towards capital cities. However, federal and state policies have contributed in the last decade to a consistent flow of humanitarian entrants settling in rural and remote areas of NSW. Demographic data also indicate that rural and remote areas already had appreciable numbers of overseas-born residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds even prior to the recent influx of humanitarian entrants.