ABS 2016 Census: Typical Victorian Migrant is “Indian born”

By Prachi Panchal

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently released the first insights from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. The key highlight for Victoria is that the ‘typical’ migrant in Victoria was born in India.

The ‘typical’ Australian in Victoria, New South Wales, and Western Australia has at least one parent who was born overseas.

While the first Census data release is scheduled for 27 June, the ABS recently released a preview of the key characteristics that make the ‘typical’ Australian in 2016, which highlight Australia’s diversity.

In 2016, the ‘typical’ migrant in Australia was born in England and is 44 years old. There are however some differences between the states—in Victoria the ‘typical’ migrant was born in India, while the ‘typical’ migrant in New South Wales was born in China.

The 2016 Census has revealed the ‘typical’ Australian is a 38-year-old female who was born in Australia, and is of English ancestry. She is married and lives in a couple family with two children and has completed Year 12. She lives in a house with three bedrooms and two motor vehicles. The information released by ABS is just a glimpse of what can be expected when 2016 Census data is released in June.

Former Ministerial Adviser Mr Nitin Gupta was hardly surprised by the ABS 2016 Census outcomes. “If you live in Melbourne, you would not be surprised by the outcomes of ABS 2016 Census. Further data and updates from the 2016 Census would give more detailed information, but Indian migrants are contributing to the Victorian economy in a very significant manner,” said Mr Gupta.

Nitin Gupta with family

“Also the bitter fact is that the Indian community is grossly underrepresented on the mainstream Victorian TV Screens and other entertainment avenues; we are yet to have an Indian origin Victorian Member of Parliament; out of around 700 plus elected Local Government Councillors in Victoria there is only one who was born in India; the Victorian government only has a part-time Ministerial Adviser who is Indian born; so clearly there are lots of gaps when it comes to representation of Indians in mainstream politics and television,” added Mr Gupta, who was the first full time Ministerial Adviser to work for Victorian Government.

He also said that both major political parties need to address these issues, and we as a community need to work harder and support each other so that we can leave a significant mark.

AIBC Executive and Miss World Australia national finalist Miss Rashi Kapoor commented, “We’ve got a rapidly growing Indian community in Victoria and it’s vital that the community gets its due representation in both mainstream politics and television screens/other entertainment and cultural avenues.”

She said that she hoped both major political parties in next few months would be doing extensive community consultations, including with Indian community and business groups like Australia India Business Council (AIBC Victoria), Indian Executive Club (IEC), India Australia Exchange Forum (IAEF) and others regarding how to fill those gaps so that the Victorian Indian community is better represented on the mainstream political and television scene.