Census shows English-speaking cultures increasing in Yarra

August 16 2022 - 1:00pm
Census figures show shift to English-speaking cultures in Yarra
Census figures show shift to English-speaking cultures in Yarra

Recently analysed 2021 census data reveals a demographic shift in the City of Yarra towards Anglo-Celtic cultures, with figures on heritage, languages and birthplace reflecting a decreasing proportion of other groupings.

As in 2016, Yarra's four largest reported ancestry groups were English, Australian, Irish and Scottish but the number of people in each group had grown by between 1 and 2 per cent in 2021 while the proportion of people describing their heritage as Chinese and Vietnamese declined by 0.2 and 0.5 per cent respectively.

Eighty-six per cent of residents fell into the top four groups, with 33.9 per cent (30,539 people) identifying as English, 24.8 per cent (22,315) as Australian, 15.8 per cent (14,221) as Irish and 12 per cent (10,772) Scottish. These percentages were significantly higher than the average for Greater Melbourne.

The next largest heritage group was Italian, which accounted for 6.6 per cent of Yarra's population (5,912 people).

The ancestry figures fitted with data on languages which showed the number of people in Yarra who spoke a language other than English at home decreased by 6.4 per cent (1,229 people) over the five years since the previous census and the number who only spoke English increased by 13.1 per cent (7,814 people).

The largest changes in spoken languages between 2016 and 2021 were for Vietnamese - down 0.6 per cent (from 3,374 to 2,998 people); Italian - down 0.4 per cent (1,567 to 1,243); Greek - down 0.4 per cent (2,283 to 1,982); and Mandarin - down 0.3 per cent (1,909 to 1,710).

Between 2016 and 2021, the number of people in Yarra born overseas increased by 3.0 per cent to 28.7 per cent, which compared with 35.7 per cent in Greater Melbourne.

While overseas-born people came from 97 listed countries, the largest changes in Yarra's birthplace countries since 2016 were increases in those born in the UK (0.3 per cent) and the USA (0.2 per cent) and decreases in people born in China (0.4 per cent) and Vietnam (0.3 per cent).

Yarra also had a smaller percentage than the broader metropolitan average of residents with Indian ancestry (1.6 per cent compared to 5.3 per cent).

  • Census information from demographic analysts .id (Informed Decisions).

Jenny Denton


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