In the 100 years since the first national Census, the multicultural nature of Australian society has developed and grown significantly – especially here in Victoria. Our population is among the fastest-growing and most diverse in Australia.
At the 2011 Census, the total population of Victoria was 5,354,039 persons, increasing by 8.5% (or 421,617 persons) from the 2006 Census.
- 26.2% of Victorians were born overseas in more than 200 countries (an increase from 23.8% in 2006).
- 46.8% of Victorians were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas (an increase from 43.6% in 2006).
- 23.1% of Victorians spoke a language other than English at home (an increase from 20.4% in 2006).
- 67.7% of Victorians followed 135 faiths - compared to 68.7% following 130 faiths in 2006.
Country of Birth
Victorians born in Australia increased by 6.9% from 3,434,471 persons in 2006 to 3,670,937 in 2011. However, the overseas-born increased by 19.8%, from 1,173,250 to 1,405,330 in the same period.
Of the total overseas-born, 74.5% (1,048,068) came from non-main English-speaking countries, increasing from 72.8% in 2006.
The proportion of those born in the traditional source countries in North and West Europe declined steadily over the last three censuses, from 26.9% in 2001 to 24.4% and 21.1% in 2006 and 2011 respectively, although numbers have remained fairly stable (Table 1 and Figure 1). Those born in Southern and Eastern Europe have declined more significantly.
Reflecting recent trends in migration to Victoria, the overseas-born from North Africa and the Middle East, South-East Asia, North-East Asia and in particular Southern and Central Asia, have increased in both absolute numbers and as a proportion of the total.
The top ten countries of birth for Victoria in 2011 were: England, India, China, New Zealand, Italy, Vietnam, Greece, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Philippines.
The top ten countries of birth in 2006 were: England, Italy, New Zealand, Vietnam, China, Greece, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Scotland.
Among the top ranked countries of birth, the fastest growing were: India (increasing by 111.5%); China (66.0%); Sri Lanka (39.7%); Philippines (39.0%); and New Zealand (25.4%).
Among the lower ranked countries of birth, the fastest growing included those from refugee source countries: Iraq (48.6%); Afghanistan (89.5%); Iran (68.0%); Burma (212.9%); Bangladesh (70%); and Nepal (418.5%).
The highest ranking England-born increased by 6.9% . The Italy-born and Greece-born decreased by 7.2% and 8.0% respectively.
Language spoken at home
The 2011 Census has also revealed increasing diversity in languages other than English (LOTE) spoken at home.
The number speaking a LOTE increased by 22.6% (227,997) from 1.00 million in 2006 to 1.23 million in 2011.
Fast-growing LOTE speakers are associated with fast-growing source countries. For example: Mandarin (61.2% increase between 2006 and 2011); Hindi (79.9%); Punjabi (278.8%); Sinhalese (66.4%); Tamil (57.3%); and several other Indian sub-continent languages.
Several European languages experienced a slight decline in the number of speakers - for example: Italian (-6.4%); Greek (-0.9%); Croatian (-3.5%); and Maltese (-4.4%).
A number of African languages experienced a significant increase in the number of speakers, albeit growing from a smaller base.
The number of Victorians with a religion increased by 249,091 persons (7.4%), although there was a slight decrease in terms of the proportion of Victorians with a religion (from 68.7% in 2006 to 67.7% in 2011).
The three dominant religions – Western Catholic, Anglican Church and Uniting Church - have not changed significantly (5.3%, -2.2% and -8.4% respectively).
However, the other top ranking religions, while not as numerous as the Christian faiths, have experienced significant growth rates, for example: Buddhism (27.1%); Islam (39.7%); Hinduism (96.5%); and Sikhism (224.6%).
Click below for 2011 Census tables
These tables have been prepared with data and terminology from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the purpose of disseminating information for the benefit of the public. The State of Victoria accepts no liability for the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of the information, nor its use, interpretation, or the reliance placed upon it.
Additional 2011 Census data tables will be provided on this website as they become available, including CALD population profiles by Local Government Areas and Regional Advisory Council Regions, Community Fact Sheets and Community Profiles.