The 2011 Census has found more than 250,000 people speak Greek at home, showing high retention rates in our community.
More surprisingly, 146 people were “so described” as speaking Cypriot (which is a dialect, not a language).
A definite multicultural trend has come out of the census, showing that Australia is thriving with more than 300 different origins noted and one in four people were born overseas.
Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras welcomed the figures.
“The 2011 Census underscores Victoria’s growing cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, one of the State’s greatest strengths,” Mr Kotsiras said.
With the first figures released this week, the census sadly shows a large decline in post WW2 migrants like the Italians and Greeks.
Greeks in Australia showed the largest decrease in migrant populations, which fell by 33,000 people.
With only 248 Greeks migrating to Australia last year, and only 296 in 2010, the numbers are too low to replenish the community.
Spokesperson for the Australian Bureau of Statists, Andrew Henderson, believes there is still hope with the second and third generation.
“We’re now actually starting to see some decline in the historical sources such as Italy, Greece and the Netherlands. Those populations are aging. Culturally, they are still with us, but in the second and third generation,” Mr Henderson said.
The median age of Greeks in Australia was 62, further proof that our community is ageing and not replenishing itself.
This is the first snapshot of the Australian community since the 2006 Census, and many trends have changed.
More Australians are turning away from religion with the number of people reporting “no religion” has increased to 22 per cent of the population.
Mr Henderson says “no religion’ is now the second most commonly reported response on the Census”.
Hinduism is now the fastest growing religion in Australia.
And if you think your hip pocket is hurting, you’re not wrong. The median national weekly rents are up by 49.2 per cent from 2006 and monthly mortgage repayments are up 38 per cent.
The increase in the cost of housing has not been matched by household income.
The data shows median weekly income has risen by just over 20 per cent since 2006, to $1,234 per household.
The Australian population is now 21.5 million and the total number of Greeks in Australia is 378,265.