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Ukraine community profile

Information about the Ukraine 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.


There have been two key points of migration of Ukrainians to Victoria. The first wave of Ukrainians arrived during World War II, where many were considered ‘displaced persons’. These Ukrainians arrived as refugees under the International Refugee Organization resettlement agreement.

The second wave of migration happened after Ukraine gained independence as a nation in 1991. Over one-third of Ukraine community arrived and settled in Victoria between 1991 and 2000. Many Ukrainians arriving during this time were young professionals seeking economic and employment opportunities.

While migration has reduced since the 2000s, there have been more arrivals of refugees since the start of the war in Ukraine in 2022, which is not captured in this data. Victoria is home to the largest Ukrainian community in Australia.

Ukrainian community 

The Ukrainian community in Victoria is the largest in Australia. There are 17,069 people in Victoria who have Ukrainian ancestry, of which 5,386 were born in Ukraine.

The gender breakdown for the Ukraine community is:

  • male: 7,824 (45.8%)
  • female: 9,245 (54.2%).

The largest cohorts are aged over 65 years (23.2%) and 35–44 (16.3%). 

Insights for communication and engagement

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

  • The Ukrainian community is relatively small one with most of the population arriving between 1991 and 2000. There has been an increase in arrivals of Ukrainian refugees since the war in Ukraine began in 2022.
  • The community has medium to high 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 people in the Ukrainian community in Victoria.
  • Digital channels can be helpful to reach newly arrived Ukrainian refugees.
  • For place–based activities, the south–eastern 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 Ukrainian community live in Melbourne’s south–eastern suburbs.

The City of Glen Eira is home to the largest Ukrainian community in Victoria with 1,336 people. The City of Greater Geelong is next with 1,197 people.

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

Local government areaPopulation
Glen Eira1,336
City of Greater Geelong1,197
Moonee Valley728
Port Phillip549

Ukraine-born population 

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


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

  • Russian (3,347)
  • Ukrainian (895)
  • English (887).

English language proficiency

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

  • 66.4% of the population say they speak English ‘very well’ or ‘well’.
  • 16.5% of the population say they speak English ‘not well’ or ‘not at all’.
  • 16.5% of the population speaks English only.


The Ukraine–born population identify with the following religions:

  • Judaism (25.4%)
  • Eastern Orthodox (17.4%)
  • Christianity (8.5%)
  • Catholicism (8.2%)
  • no religion (33%).

Years of arrival

There have been two main points of arrival for the Ukraine–born population in Victoria: 1991–2000 (35.9%) and 2001–2010 (15.8%).

Year of arrivalNumber of arrivalsPercentage


Ukrainian names are generally made up of three parts: personal name, middle name and surname. The surname is inherited from one’s father and shared with other siblings. Ukrainian middle names are patronymic, which means they combine the father’s first name with the suffix ‘–vych’ or ‘–vyovych’ for men (meaning ‘son of’) or ‘–ivna’ or ‘–yivna’ for women (meaning ‘daughter of’). Married Ukrainian women are most often known by their husband’s family name, possibly with a feminine ‘–A’ ending to the name.

Significant dates

The Ukraine community celebrates various cultural and religious holidays. These dates will vary depending on a person’s religion, heritage and identity. The following are some key dates of significance:

  • New Year’s Day – 1 January
  • Orthodox Christmas – 7 January
  • Easter – varies each year
  • Orthodox Easter – varies each year
  • Independence Day of Ukraine – 24 August
  • Christmas – 25 December.

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).