Population in Victoria



With people from more than 200 countries, speaking more than 230 languages and dialects, and following more than 120 faiths, Victoria is one of the world’s great multicultural societies.

Enjoying the benefits of a globalised world means accepting the responsibilities of global citizenship: engaging with different cultures, respecting what we all have to offer, and constructively living and working together to meet the challenges of changing times.

The concept of “multiculturalism” in Victoria

Multiculturalism is a policy designed to manage, foster and celebrate cultural diversity. It recognises the diversity of its different cultures within the context of a society that not only respects its members’ rights to their culture, faith and identity, but also increases their range of choices as well as contributing to their development and well-being.

There are differing views as to what constitutes a CALD (Culturally and linguistically diverse) background.
The distinguishing features could include, but are not limited to:

  • Country of origin;
  • Languages spoken at home;
  • Family ties;
  • Cultural and religious background;
  • and Self identification.

A Snapshot of Victoria’s Cultural Diversity

In considering multiculturalism, it is relevant to note that Victoria is among the fastest growing states in Australia, and net overseas migration has consistently accounted for more than half of Victoria’s population increase.

At the 2006 Census,

  • Total population of Victoria was 4,932,423 persons,
  • 23.8% (1,173,204) of Victorians were born overseas in more than 230 countries.
  • 43.6% (2,152,279) of Victorians were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas.
  • 72.8% (853,966) of overseas-born Victorians came from NESB countries.
  • 20.4% (1,007,435) of Victorians spoke over 200 languages at home.
  • 68.7% (3,390,804) of Victorians followed over 120 religions.