Victoria's diversity

With approximately one in two Victorians either born overseas or with at least one parent born overseas, Victoria is home to one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world.

Acknowledging Victoria’s true diversity

Our state’s diversity can only be acknowledged within the context of recognising First Nations People, their cultures, customs and rights.

As an organisation with legislative objectives to support and promote diversity in Victoria, our work is centred around equality and respect for all peoples and cultures.

We therefore recognise more than 60,000 years of diverse cultures and customs in this country and acknowledge Aboriginal Victorians as an integral and valued part of Victoria’s past, present and future.

Our diverse population

While coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted on travel and our population, it is important to note that for the reporting period, Victoria has been Australia’s fastest growing state with an annual increase of 2.1 per cent (compared with Australia’s population growth of 1.6 per cent) and had a population of 6,566,200 as at 31 March 2019.

Migration to Victoria has resulted in increasing diversity and was the major contributor to the state’s population change, and net interstate migration gains for Victoria were the second highest recorded in the year ending 31 March 2019.

The 2016 Census showed that:

  • 26 per cent of Victoria’s population spoke a language other than English (LOTE) at home, a rise from 20.4 per cent in 2006. The proportion who spoke a LOTE at home was 32.6 per cent in Greater Melbourne.
  • The proportion of Victoria’s population who was either born overseas or had at least one parent born overseas was 49.1 per cent. (57.1 per cent in Greater Melbourne).

Our success as a cohesive, multicultural society has been achieved through collaborative government and community leadership, dedicated legislation, and policies and programs designed to facilitate genuine access and equity.

Victoria’s multicultural community infrastructure comprises of more than 4,000 ethno-specific, faith-specific and multicultural community organisations, some of whom are peak bodies and subject matter experts.