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Macedonian community profile

Information about the Macedonian 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 Macedonian community is an established community in Victoria. There have been different waves of migration of Macedonian–born people to Victoria. Many Macedonians arrived in the 1920s and 1930s and after the Greek Civil War (1944–1949) as displaced people.

The second wave of migration happened in the late 1960s and early 1970s. These Macedonians migrated to Victoria to reunite with family or to pursue economic opportunities. The migration of skilled professionals from Macedonia continued during the 1980s and 1990s.

Like most European migrant populations, the Macedonian community throughout Australia has been decreasing due to some return migration and a lack of new arrivals.

Macedonian community

The Macedonian community in Victoria is the largest in Australia. There are 49,429 people in Victoria who have Macedonian ancestry, of which 19,025 were born in Macedonia.

The gender breakdown for the Macedonian community is:

  • male: 24,659 (49.9%)
  • female: 24,770 (50.1%).

The largest cohorts are aged over 65 years (19%) and 45-54 (14.9%). 

Insights for communication and engagement

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

  • The Macedonian community is well established in Victoria; with most of the population arriving from 1961–1980.
  • 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 be helpful for reaching many Macedonian people in Victoria.
  • For place–based activities, the northern and north–western suburbs are where most of the community lives.
  • For older Macedonians, it can be helpful to receive information from a church or a community centre.

For more insights about communicating with multicultural audiences, read the:

Better practice guide for multicultural communications
PDF 3.35 MB
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Better practice guide for multicultural communications - accessible version
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(opens in a new window)


Many people in the Macedonian community live in Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs.

The City of Whittlesea is home to the largest Macedonian community in Victoria, with 13,979 people. The second largest is the City of Brimbank with 5,447 people. There are also sizeable communities in Shepparton and Geelong.

The following 10 local government areas have the largest Macedonian communities.

Local government areaPopulation
Greater Geelong1,874
Hobsons Bay1,618
Moonee Valley1,222

Macedonia–born population

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


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

  • Macedonian (14,345)
  • English (1,990)
  • Albanian (1,687).

English language proficiency

The Macedonia–born population in Victoria has medium levels of English language proficiency:

  • 64.7% of the population say they speak English ‘very well’ or ‘well’.
  • 24% of the population say they speak English ‘not well’ or ‘not at all’.
  • 10.5% of the population speaks English only.


The Macedonia–born population identify with the following religions:

  • Eastern Orthodox (49.6%)
  • Christianity (29.7%)
  • Islam (12.3%)
  • no religion (4.4%).

Years of arrival

There have been two main points of arrival for the Macedonia–born population in Victoria. Most of the population arrived from 1961–1970 (24.6%), and 1971–1980 (28.7%).

Year of arrivalNumber of arrivalsPercentage


In Macedonian culture, people have a personal name and family name, but no middle name. Family names often have different suffixes for males and females. For example, the masculine endings ‘ski’ or ‘ov/ev’ and the female endings are ‘ska’ or ‘ova/eva’. Women usually take their husband’s family name at marriage with a feminine ending.

Significant dates

The Macedonian community celebrates various cultural and religious holidays that hold significance to their heritage and identity. The following are some key dates of significance:

  • Macedonian Independence Day – 8 September
  • Elijah’s Day (Ilinden) – 2 August
  • Epiphany – 19 January
  • Christmas Day – 7 January
  • Easter – Varies each year.

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).