The youngest ethnic group in NSW
While calculating the median ages of each birthplace group in New South Wales in order to discover the oldest and youngest ethnic groups, I stumbled upon an interesting figure. The youngest by far is the population born in Guinea, a West African country, with a median age of 12.2 years. This means that over half of the population are children. All other birthplaces have a median age of 18 years or more, indicating a majority adult population.
Guinean born in NSW by Service Age Groups
I got curious – why is the Guinean population so young? There were 197 Guinean born people in New South Wales at the time of the 2011 Census. Since the Census, up until the 30th of June this year, a further 63 people have arrived in New South Wales, according to the Department of Social Services Settlement Database. Looking at this total population, approximately 70% were aged under 18.
What could have influenced this age structure? Guinea itself has a very young age structure and a total fertility rate of 5.1 children per woman (Population Reference Bureau 2015). The ratio of children to adults of Guinean-born in New South Wales could suggest families of 2 parents and 4-5 children. However, there could be other explanations for the apparent youth of this population, especially if the familiy size isn’t as large as suggested. Guinea, which is located in West Africa is neighboured by several countries that have experienced significant conflict in recent decades, including Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire. Guinea has at least 3 refugee camps and is currently home to 8,696 refugees from the region (UNHCR 2015). Perhaps some of the Guinean born children were in fact born in Guinea to Ivorian or Liberian parents, then migrating to New South Wales.