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This topic has been updated with 2016 Census data for all areas. What's this?

The three largest ancestries in Greater Melbourne in 2016 were English, Australian and Irish.

Ancestry defines the cultural association and ethnic background of an individual going back three generations. Ancestry is a good measure of the total size of cultural groups in Greater Melbourne regardless of where they were born or what language they speak.

Ancestry data, should be combined with data on Birthplace, Language Spoken at Home and Religion for a more complete picture of Greater Melbourne's ethnic characteristics.

Please note that the "Australian Aboriginal" and "Torres Strait Islander" categories in this topic are not considered to be a reliable estimate of the indigenous peoples of Australia. For information on this group, please use the "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population" found on the Population page.

Please note: Due to changes in ABS rules around perturbation and additivity of data to protect the confidentiality of individuals in 2016, counts of ancestry groups and totals derived from them may differ slightly from those published by the ABS. For more information see notes on data confidentiality.

Derived from the Census question:

'What is the person's ancestry?'

Multi-response

Total population

Ancestry - Ranked by size
Greater Melbourne - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
AncestryNumber%Victoria %Number%Victoria %2011 to 2016
English1,193,05126.629.91,075,38426.930.2+117,667
Australian1,077,37524.027.91,053,99226.430.0+23,383
Irish410,0929.110.1351,3638.89.8+58,729
Chinese356,5307.96.3244,6956.14.8+111,835
Scottish329,0647.38.3289,0217.28.2+40,043
Italian300,1146.76.0279,1407.06.1+20,974
Indian198,4544.43.5126,1053.22.5+72,349
Greek162,1033.62.9154,2443.93.0+7,859
German135,7213.03.4121,6913.03.4+14,030
Vietnamese105,9072.41.879,3572.01.5+26,550
Dutch66,6801.51.665,2731.61.8+1,407
Sinhalese66,2421.51.249,4571.21.0+16,785
Maltese65,9211.51.262,3471.61.3+3,574
Filipino60,4971.31.244,8901.10.9+15,607
Polish48,3321.11.045,5031.11.0+2,829
Lebanese45,0981.00.839,1651.00.8+5,933
Macedonian40,9950.90.739,5671.00.8+1,428
Croatian36,0300.80.734,4340.90.8+1,596
Turkish35,6250.80.633,5350.80.7+2,090
New Zealander32,2790.70.727,9170.70.6+4,362
Inadequately Described31,1960.70.616,8980.40.4+14,298
Serbian28,8560.60.626,4240.70.6+2,432
French26,9010.60.621,2820.50.5+5,619
Spanish23,3870.50.518,1490.50.4+5,238
Russian22,3350.50.419,5820.50.4+2,753
Welsh21,3640.50.518,0850.50.5+3,279
Pakistani19,9460.40.49,2200.20.2+10,726
Hungarian19,5360.40.418,6930.50.4+843
Other Indian subcontinent19,4110.40.37,9150.20.2+11,496
South African19,3840.40.417,6570.40.4+1,727
Afghan18,6520.40.39,8190.20.2+8,833
Khmer (Cambodian)17,7600.40.312,7420.30.2+5,018
Maori17,6520.40.415,4210.40.3+2,231
Korean17,0020.40.311,3640.30.2+5,638
Iranian16,7010.40.37,9650.20.2+8,736
Samoan16,2800.40.310,0400.30.2+6,240
Egyptian15,6700.30.312,3780.30.2+3,292
Burmese peoples15,0290.30.36,5050.20.1+8,524
Punjabi13,9560.30.24,3480.10.1+9,608
Assyrian/Chaldean13,8120.30.28,0570.20.2+5,755
Mauritian13,7150.30.212,8540.30.3+861
Indonesian13,6330.30.210,0410.30.2+3,592
Malay13,3410.30.29,0520.20.2+4,289
Thai13,3090.30.38,4360.20.2+4,873
American12,5130.30.311,5480.30.3+965
Ukrainian12,4620.30.310,3620.30.2+2,100
Japanese11,9290.30.28,8830.20.2+3,046
Iraqi11,6420.30.27,7710.20.2+3,871
Cypriot11,4440.30.28,9810.20.2+2,463
Sudanese11,3520.30.26,9950.20.2+4,357
Portuguese11,2920.30.27,9640.20.2+3,328
Arab not further described10,3020.20.27,0680.20.1+3,234
Nepalese10,2990.20.24,4200.10.1+5,879
Austrian9,7930.20.29,2840.20.2+509
Jewish9,7870.20.212,2720.30.2-2,485
Chilean9,4790.20.28,3570.20.2+1,122
Albanian9,4580.20.27,8910.20.2+1,567
Bengali9,1500.20.25,5510.10.1+3,599
Tamil8,7180.20.26,2450.20.1+2,473
Romanian8,4780.20.27,4420.20.1+1,036
Somali8,3290.20.15,4520.10.1+2,877
Other Central Asian8,2580.20.22,9600.10.1+5,298
Danish8,0540.20.27,0820.20.2+972
Bosnian7,8670.20.16,9080.20.1+959
Fijian7,7880.20.15,7870.10.1+2,001
Ethiopian7,2420.20.14,3770.10.1+2,865
Other Middle-Eastern peoples6,8730.20.15,0950.10.1+1,778
Swedish6,8430.20.25,5890.10.1+1,254
Canadian6,0730.10.15,7230.10.1+350
Swiss5,9180.10.15,2930.10.1+625
Slovene5,6930.10.15,5950.10.1+98
Other Southern and East African5,6770.10.15,3480.10.1+329
Anglo-Indian5,4880.10.15,6780.10.1-190
Central and West African5,4680.10.12,5880.10.1+2,880
Cook Islander5,1820.10.13,6260.10.1+1,556
Syrian5,1430.10.13,5460.10.1+1,597
Czech5,1080.10.14,9470.10.1+161
Other Arab peoples4,8970.10.12,7800.10.1+2,117
Colombian4,8830.10.12,5470.10.0+2,336
Latvian4,7240.10.14,7090.10.1+15
Tongan4,5710.10.12,9750.10.1+1,596
Armenian4,4170.10.13,7810.10.1+636
Norwegian4,2570.10.13,7260.10.1+531
Timorese4,2330.10.13,1830.10.1+1,050
Australian Aboriginal4,1190.10.12,5950.10.1+1,524
Lithuanian3,9560.10.13,2870.10.1+669
Other Eastern European3,6900.10.12,3940.10.1+1,296
Argentinian3,6310.10.13,0050.10.1+626
Eritrean3,4890.10.12,2550.10.0+1,234
Other South American3,4740.10.12,4650.10.0+1,009
Taiwanese3,3130.10.11,4730.00.0+1,840
Kurdish3,1650.10.11,8510.00.0+1,314
Slovak3,1440.10.13,0040.10.1+140
Finnish3,0890.10.12,6960.10.1+393
Salvadoran3,0530.10.12,5430.10.0+510
Lao3,0350.10.12,5000.10.1+535
Brazilian2,9060.10.11,6100.00.0+1,296
Palestinian2,7780.10.01,9550.00.0+823
Other British2,5430.10.11,7080.00.0+835
Zimbabwean2,4840.10.01,6920.00.0+792
Other Oceanian (inc. Melanesia & Micronesia)2,3250.10.01,8980.00.0+427
Other North American2,2700.10.01,6030.00.0+667
Other Southern/South East European2,2440.10.000.00.0+2,244
Singaporean2,1760.00.01,4610.00.0+715
Belgian2,1450.00.01,8230.00.0+322
Other Polynesian1,9980.00.01,0920.00.0+906
Mexican1,9320.00.01,1440.00.0+788
Caribbean Islander1,8310.00.01,3380.00.0+493
Bulgarian1,7200.00.01,2810.00.0+439
Other South-East Asian1,6520.00.01,4870.00.0+165
Peruvian1,6500.00.01,2170.00.0+433
Other North-Western European1,6270.00.01,0930.00.0+534
Estonian1,5770.00.01,5040.00.0+73
Uruguayan1,3950.00.01,2340.00.0+161
Seychellois1,2880.00.01,2240.00.0+64
Other Northern Asian1,0240.00.04660.00.0+558
Papua New Guinean9730.00.08270.00.0+146
Hmong7560.00.06530.00.0+103
Jordanian7530.00.05600.00.0+193
Native American (Indian)5740.00.03340.00.0+240
Other Central American5690.00.04040.00.0+165
Afrikaner4940.00.05770.00.0-83
Australian South Sea Islander3160.00.0850.00.0+231
Torres Strait Islander1250.00.01010.00.0+24
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Excludes ancestries with fewer than 20 responses, or less than 0.1% of the total population.

Ancestry - Totals
Greater Melbourne - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
Ancestry totalsNumber%Victoria %Number%Victoria %2011 to 2016
Not stated277,9206.26.6256,2616.46.5+21,659

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2011 and 2016. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Ancestry, 2016
Ancestry, 2016 English, Victoria: 29.9% Australian, Victoria: 27.9% Irish, Victoria: 10.1% Chinese, Victoria: 6.3% Scottish, Victoria: 8.3% Italian, Victoria: 6.0% Indian, Victoria: 3.5% Greek, Victoria: 2.9% German, Victoria: 3.4% Vietnamese, Victoria: 1.8% English, Greater Melbourne: 26.6% Australian, Greater Melbourne: 24.0% Irish, Greater Melbourne: 9.1% Chinese, Greater Melbourne: 7.9% Scottish, Greater Melbourne: 7.3% Italian, Greater Melbourne: 6.7% Indian, Greater Melbourne: 4.4% Greek, Greater Melbourne: 3.6% German, Greater Melbourne: 3.0% Vietnamese, Greater Melbourne: 2.4%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in ancestry, 2011 to 2016
Change in ancestry, 2011 to 2016 English, Greater Melbourne: +117,667 Australian, Greater Melbourne: +23,383 Irish, Greater Melbourne: +58,729 Chinese, Greater Melbourne: +111,835 Scottish, Greater Melbourne: +40,043 Italian, Greater Melbourne: +20,974 Indian, Greater Melbourne: +72,349 Greek, Greater Melbourne: +7,859 German, Greater Melbourne: +14,030 Vietnamese, Greater Melbourne: +26,550
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the ancestry responses of the population in Greater Melbourne in 2016 shows that the top five ancestries nominated were:

  • English (1,193,051 people or 26.6%)
  • Australian (1,077,375 people or 24.0%)
  • Irish (410,092 people or 9.1%)
  • Chinese (356,530 people or 7.9%)
  • Scottish (329,064 people or 7.3%)

In combination these five ancestries account for 3,366,112 responses in total, or 75.05% of all responses.

The major differences between the ancestries of the population in Greater Melbourne and Victoria were:

  • A larger percentage of people with Chinese ancestry (7.9% compared to 6.3%)
  • A smaller percentage of people with Australian ancestry (24.0% compared to 27.9%)
  • A smaller percentage of people with English ancestry (26.6% compared to 29.9%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the reported ancestries of the population in this area between 2011 and 2016 were:

  • English (+117,667 persons)
  • Chinese (+111,835 persons)
  • Indian (+72,349 persons)
  • Irish (+58,729 persons)

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