Our multicultural regions – some stories you may not know!
Since it was founded in 2012, the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has worked to gather and analyse the best information we can to help tell the story of regional Australia.
Our team works with data and information to help our leaders and decision makers understand the challenges their regions face and the opportunities for future development.
As part of our work, we constantly review Census data to look at trends and changes facing our population – and as always, our latest results have told us an interesting story about what is happening in our regions with our migrant population.
We have been analysing how different migrant groups have settled in particular Local Government Areas (LGAs) across the country. From there, we have identified the Top 60 LGAs that have a significant concentration of one particular ethnic group and where that group represents at least 0.75 per cent of the population.
This type of ethnic grouping is a phenomenon that has been observed since the 1920s, where Chinese and then Italian groups farmed tobacco and hops in the Ovens and King Valleys in Victoria in the post gold rush era.
Nowadays, our communities are looking very different and each of our states has its own story to tell at a regional level.
Western Australia lead the list, with 23 LGAs making our Top 60. Western Australia’s figures reflect more recent settlements patterns, which is thought to be due to the mining boom in the west – with Afrikaans and New Zealanders moving here to fill mining roles.
Located in the North Eastern Wheatbelt of Western Australia, 2 per cent of the Nungarin LGA population is Afrikaner. This concentration is 171.5 times the national average population of Afrikaner people living in Australia. This means that Afrikaners living in Australia are 171.5 times more likely to live in Nungarin than anywhere else in the country.
In Dalwallinu LGA, Filipinos now make up 5.5 percent of its population – thanks to the community led migration strategy that encouraged Filipinos to call this area their home.
Located 280 kilometres from Perth, Kondinin LGA has an Estonian population that represents 0.8 per cent of it overall population. Over in Gingin LGA, a Taiwanese community makes up 0.8 percent of total residents living in that Western Australian community.
When you look at the situation in South Australia, the latest figures show a significant German influence.
In that state, 10 LGA’s made our list, boasting a large concentration of German migrants. These include Mid Murray LGA, with 10.4 percent of its residents born in Germany, Light LGA had 8.7 per cent, Wakefield LGA came in at 5.2 percent and Barossa 13.9.
Interestingly, in the Barossa LGA, the German population developed their own dialect of German – known as Barossa Deutsch.
If you head east to Victoria, 12.2 per cent of the people living in Moyne LGA are Irish, with 8.4 per cent of the Wangaratta LGA population also coming from Ireland.
In Hindmarsh, 2 per cent of its population is Karen.
In New South Wales, Temora Shire is located in the Riverina region and is 90 kilometres from Wagga Wagga. Again, we see a significant concentration of German residents, totalling four per cent of the overall population.
When we head over the Apple Isle, King Island LGA – which is notably known for its cheese – has a dutch population of 1.9 percent.
Our latest findings show a significant concentration of Italians living in Hinchinbrook LGA in North Queensland – and Germans in Barcoo.
While the RAI does focus its work on regional Australia, it may be on interest to see which of our metropolitan LGAs made the list.
Cockburn in Western Australia is showing a significant concentration of Portuguese migrants living in its community, Whittlesea in Victoria has recorded more than 5 percent of its residents as Macedonian, and Ipswich in Queensland has welcomed a significant group of Samoans.
Top 60 Ancestry Groups
|Ancestry|| % of local
| New South
| Karoonda East
| Clare and Gilbert
|Northern Areas||German||4.7 %||2.5x|
| Naracoorte and
|Westonia|| Papua New
|Mount Marshall||Maori||0.8%||2.8 x|
| New South
The RAI will continue to look at demographic change across Australia particularly in light of our current focus on migration in rural areas. For more information about our work on migration issues, go to www.regionalaustralia.org.au
Sign up to our Regional Futures e-News to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news and information.