JavaScript is required

Nepalese community profile

Information about the Nepalese 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.


While the size of the Nepalese community is small, it is one of the fastest growing communities in Victoria.

Before 2000, there were only a small number of Nepalese people in Victoria. Between 2011 and 2021, the size of the Nepalese community doubled from 9,389 to 20,154 people in Victoria.

Much of the Nepalese community are recent arrivals, with over half of the population arriving in Victoria between 2016 and 2021.

The Nepalese population grew during this time because Nepalese students began attending Victorian higher education institutions.

Another reason for the growth was changes to Australia’s skilled migration program. These changes meant an increase in the number of qualified people arriving with their immediate families to settle in Victoria.

The civil conflict in Nepal (1996–2006) also led some Nepalese people to seek asylum in Victoria during this time.


Nepalese community

The Nepalese community in Victoria is growing. There are 23,410 people in Victoria who have Nepalese ancestries, of which 20,154 were born in Nepal.

The gender breakdown for the Nepalese community is:

  • male: 12,637 (54.0%)
  • female: 10,773 (46.0%)

Most of the Nepalese community are young, with the largest cohorts aged from 25–34 (39.39%) and 15–24 (21.7%).

Insights for communication and engagement

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

  • The Nepalese community is growing, with most people arriving between 2016–2021. Many are students.
  • The community has high levels of English language proficiency and may therefore understand information or resources in English.
  • Write in plain language (use plain words, short sentences, headings, lists and other design elements to make information clear). Hemingway Editor can help with this - a free resource that points out passive voice, complex sentences, overuse of adverbs, and overly complex words <>.
  • Social media and digital channels can be helpful in reaching the many Nepalese young people who live in Victoria.
  • For place–based activities, the northern and north–western suburbs are where the majority of the community lives.

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

Better practice guide for multicultural communications
PDF 3.35 MB
(opens in a new window)
Better practice guide for multicultural communications - accessible version
Word 2.33 MB
(opens in a new window)


Many people in the Nepalese community live in Melbourne’s north and north–western suburbs.

The City of Merri–bek (formerly Moreland) is home to the largest Nepalese community in Victoria, with 3,862 people. The City of Hume is next with 3,184 people.

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

Local government areaPopulation
Mooney Valley656

Nepal–born population

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


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

  • Nepali (18,417)
  • English (731)
  • Hindi (120).

English language proficiency

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

  • 92.4% of the population say they speak English ‘very well’ or ‘well’.
  • 3.3% of Nepal–born people say they speak English ‘not well’ or ‘not at all’.
  • 3.6% of the population speak English only.


The Nepal–born population identify with the following religions:

  • Hinduism (83.2%)
  • Buddhism (9.2%)
  • Christianity (0.4%).

Years of arrival

There are three significant points of arrival for the Nepal–born population: 2001–2010, 2011–2015 and 2016–2021. Most of the Nepal–born population in Victoria arrived from 2016–2021.

Year of arrivalNumber of arrivalsPercentage


Nepalese names usually come from Sanskrit and Pali and include a given name and a surname. The given name is usually chosen by parents and often has cultural or religious significance.

In the traditional Nepalese naming system, the given name often includes the father's name or an honorific title. The surname, or family name, is passed down from the father.

As Nepal is a multilingual country, many Nepalese–born people have names in different languages, including Nepali, Hindi, and English.

Significant dates

Nepalese communities celebrate many region–specific cultural and religious festivals.

The following are some key dates of significance:

  • Nepali New Year (Bikram Sambat) – between 11–15 April
  • Labour Day (Majdoor Diwas) – 1 May
  • Dashain (Bada Dashain) – varies each year
  • Tihar (Deepawali/Yama Panchak) – varies each year
  • Holi (Festival of colours) – varies each year
  • Buddha Day (Buddha Jayanti) – varies each year
  • Chhath Puja – varies each year between October and November.

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).