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Discover Victoria's diverse population

A look at Australian census data to examine the diversity and ethnicity characteristics of multicultural Victorians.

At the 2016 Census:

  • 28.4% of Victoria's population were born overseas
  • 49.1% of Victorians were either born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas

Most of the overseas-born Victorians came to Australia as migrants hoping to find a better life for themselves and their children.

A large number of overseas-born Victorians came to Australia as refugees from conflicts:

  • the Second World War in Europe
  • in Indo-China
  • in the republics of the former Yugoslavia
  • the Horn of Africa
  • the Middle East
  • Afghanistan

A snapshot of our diversity

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. It increased by 10.7% since 2011, compared to 8.8% for the whole of Australia.

Of Victoria's total population:

  • 28.4% were born overseas in over 200 countries
  • 49.1% were born overseas or born in Australia with at least one parent born overseas
  • 26% spoke a language other than English at home
  • 59% followed one of more than 130 different faiths

Victoria's Diverse Population brochure

This 8-page brochure contains highlights of Victoria’s diverse population with data from the 2016 Census:

Limited hard copies are printed, email multicultural@dpc.vic.gov.au with your request.

Ethnicity characteristics census data

We produced the following tables comparing census data from 2016 and 2011. They describe the number of people in Victoria by characteristics such as country of birth, language, religion and ancestry.

Overseas Country of Birth, 2016, 2011 Census

Languages other than English Spoken at Home, 2016, 2011 Census

Religions, 2016, 2011 Census

Ancestry, First, Second and Total Responses, persons, ranked 2016 Census

Ancestry, First, Second and Total Reponses, percentages, ranked 2016 Census

Australian Citizenship by Countries of Birth, 2016, 2011 Census

Australian-born persons by Country of Birth of Mother, 2016 Census

Australia-born persons by Country of Birth of Father, 2016 Census

Reviewed 30 August 2019

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