Greek community profile

Information about the Greek community in Victoria including where they live and when they arrived, languages spoken, English language proficiency, religions and significant dates.

These profiles are of Victorian communities, using the best available data we have from the 2021 Australian Census.

The Census defines ancestry as the cultural or ethnic group you most identify with.

We acknowledge that the profiles are not definitive. There are limitations and challenges in assigning ancestry or ethnicity to a specific ‘community’, especially as defined by geographical borders.


The Greek community is one of the most well–established communities in Victoria. It is also one of the largest Greek communities outside of Greece. There have been different waves of migration of Greece–born people to Victoria.

The first wave of Greece–born people to Victoria happened between the 1840s and 1900. These people mainly came from the Ionian islands. Much of the Greek community migrated to Victoria during the 1950s,1960s and early 1970s.

Many people arrived after World War II when the Australian Government assisted tens of thousands of Greece–born people. This wave of migration was largely made up of men, as Greek law limited the migration of single women overseas.

Most of the Greek community arrived from 1961–1970 in Victoria. This happened because there was a change in Greek law in 1962, which allowed families from mainland Greece to migrate.

After the 1970s, there was a decline in migration, with Greek people preferring to migrate to other countries in Europe rather than Australia.

Greek community

The Greek community in Victoria is the largest in Australia. There are 181,184 people in Victoria who have Greek ancestry, of which 46,623 people were born in Greece.

The gender breakdown for the Greek community is:

  • male: 89,321 (49.3%)
  • female: 91,863 (50.7%).

Most of the Greek community is older, with the largest cohorts aged over 65 years (21.2%) and from 45–54 (17.4%).

Insights for communication and engagement

The following are some key insights from the data when communicating and engaging with the Greek community:

  • The Greek community is well established in Victoria with most of the population arriving between 1951 and 1970.
  • The community has medium levels of English language proficiency, and there are many in the community who may require in–language information, resources or in-person support.
  • Write in plain language. Use plain words, short sentences, headings, lists and other design elements to make information clear.
  • Print and radio channels can help reach many Greek community in Victoria.
  • For place–based activities, the south–eastern and northern suburbs are where most of the community live.

For more insights about communicating with multicultural audiences read the:

Better practice guide for multicultural communications
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Better practice guide for multicultural communications - accessible version
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Many people in the Greek community live in Melbourne’s south–eastern and northern suburbs.

The City of Monash has the largest Greek communities in Victoria, with 13,221 people, followed closely by the City of Darebin, with 12,451 people.

The following 10 local government areas (LGAs) have the largest Greek communities.

Local government areaPopulation
Glen Eira8,237
Moonee Valley6,421

Greece–born population

The following statistics focus on people living in Victoria who were born in Greece. This will be referred to as the ‘Greece–born population’.


The top languages spoken by the Greece–born population in Victoria are:

  • Greek (39,838)
  • English (4,652)
  • Macedonian (1,300).

Although some regional dialects (including Cypriot and Pontian) exist, most Greece–born people speak or understand Greek.

English language proficiency

The Greece–born population in Victoria has high levels of English language proficiency:

  • 57.3% of the population say they speak English ‘very well’ or ‘well’.
  • 32% of the population say they speak English ‘not well’ or ‘not at all’.
  • 10% of the population speaks English only.


The majority of Greece–born population identifies with the following religions:

  • Eastern Orthodox (90.5%)
  • Christianity (1.4%)
  • Jehovah’s Witness (0.7%)
  • no religion (3.9%).

Years of arrival

There have been two key points of arrival for the Greece–born population to Victoria. The majority of the population arrived from 1961–1970 (51.7%) and from 1951–1960 (17.8%).

Year of arrivalNumber of arrivalsPercentage


In Greek culture, some older Greeks prefer to use titles, for example ‘Mr, Mrs, or Dr’ Many younger Greek–born people do not follow this tradition when it comes to names. After arriving in Australia, many Greek–born people have anglicised versions of their Greek names.

Significant dates

Many significant dates are based on the Greek Orthodox calendar, and these include:

  • Greek Easter – varies each year
  • Christmas Day – 25 December (Gregorian calendar)
  • Orthodox Christmas Day – 7 January (Julian calendar)
  • St Basil’s Day – 1 January
  • Independence Day – 25 March
  • Ochi Day/Greek National Day – 28 October.

Sources of information

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021 Census Country of birth QuickStats
  • SBS Cultural Atlas
  • Encyclopedia of Melbourne (School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne, in association with the University of Melbourne's eScholarship Research Centre).