New 2016 Census resources explore Victoria’s diversity

28 August 2017

A range of new 2016 Census resources are now available to discover more about the characteristics of one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world – Victoria.

The results of the 2016 Census reported that we come from over 200 countries, follow more than 140 faiths, and speak more than 260 languages.

Almost half of the Victorian population (49.1%) was either born overseas, or have at least one parent born overseas, an increase from the 2011 (46.6%) and 2006 (43.6%) Census results that paints an intricate picture of Victoria as a state with steadily growing diversity.

Part of Victoria’s increasing diversity is attributed to those who have migrated from India and China. Since 2011, Victoria’s Indian-born community has grown by 51.9% (169,802 persons as at 2016), and Victoria’s Chinese-born community has grown by 71.7% (160,652 persons as at 2016).

The Victorian Government recently released ‘Census snapshots’ providing an overview of Victoria’s cultural diversity in relation to country of birth, religious affiliation, languages spoken, ancestry, citizenship, and more. Detailed Census profiles on specific ethnic communities will be published over the coming months at

SBS has also updated its online interactive tool – the Census Explorer – which can carve up the data in a range of ways, including by place and topic, to increase users’ understanding of the Victorian population.

Additionally, the ABC has released a series of infographics which visually depict our national diversity through the different themes of ‘Australia as 100 people’.

The 2016 Census is an important resource that informs the work and advice of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC).

VMC Commissioner Sam Almaliki recently spoke about its value at a Census Data Release Event organised by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“The Census informs our planning, our research, our policy positions, and our engagement with established and emerging communities,” Mr Almaliki said.

“And because we are able to slice the data in so many different ways, it allows us to link ‘cultural-specific’ data with a myriad of other issues that may intersect and impact on communities.

“We are not defined only by our culture, but also our location, our gender, our age and all the attributes we may identify by,” he said.

Learn more about Victoria’s rich cultural diversity at

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