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Victoria growing increasingly diverse – ABS snapshot 

5 September 20181 comment

A picture of Victoria’s vibrant cultural diversity has emerged from an analysis of census data released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The data shows Victoria is home to one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world and is also among the fastest-growing and most diverse states in Australia.

At the 2016 Census, Victoria’s population was 5.93 million, compared to 5.35 million at the 2011 Census.

This represents an increase of 10.7 per cent, compared to 8.8 per cent for the whole of Australia.

Of Victoria’s total population, 28.4 per cent (or 1,680,275 people) were born overseas in over 200 countries.

This figure has risen from 26.2 per cent in 2011 and 23.8 per cent in 2006.

Almost half, or 49.1 per cent (2,910,631 people), were born overseas or born in Australia with at least one parent born overseas – up from 46.6 per cent in 2011 and 43.6 per cent in 2006.

More than a quarter or 26 per cent of Victorians (1,538,835 people) spoke 260 languages other than English at home. This figure is up from 23.1 per cent in 2011 and 20.4 per cent in 2006).

Meanwhile, 59.0 per cent, or 3,493,927 people, followed more than 130 different faiths – compared to 67.7 per cent in 2011 and 68.7 per cent in 2006.

The largest group of overseas born people in Victoria are from England (171,443) followed by people from India (169,802) and China (160,652).

New Zealanders, Vietnamese, Italians, Sri Lankans, Filipinos, Malaysians and Greeks make up the top ten groups of migrants.

Perhaps surprisingly, Victoria is home to about 1600 people from Albania, 4400 from Saudi Arabia, 949 from the Seychelles, 1600 Uruguayans, 989 Bulgarians, 1400 Channel Islanders, 843 Zambians and 431 people from Kazakhstan.

There are six people from each of Liechtenstein, Cabo Verde, Mauritania and St Helena, the tiny Atlantic isle where Napoleon was exiled.

Just five people come from each of the Faroe and Aland Islands, Grenada and Aruba.

North Korea, the Australian Antarctic Territory, Martinique, Niger and Sao Tome and Principe have each contributed four people to Victoria’s population.

And just three people come from each of Monserrat, French Guiana, Western Sahara and the Mariana Islands.




Laurie Nowell
AMES Australia Senior Journalist