An Overview of Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, Australia’s smallest mainland state. It has a population of over 3 million, which is nearly 70% of the population of Victoria.
Melbourne history is the stuff that legends are made of. History states that the city was founded in 1835 on a tract of land acquired from the aboriginals for a few trinkets. What started off as an assortment of tents and huts soon progressed to include quite a few brick and mortar buildings within ten years of the inception of the settlement. But then it is no wonder considering that the rich pastures and the fertile lands of Melbourne had long caught the eyes of the “gold diggers”.
It was only the gold rushes of the 1850s that brought in the riches and masses to Melbourne. In no time at all, Melbourne went on to establish itself as the economic and political capital of Australia, until eclipsed by Canberra in 1927.
Now, all roads lead to Melbourne. The years have seen hordes of immigrants settling here making it a multicultural city with people from 223 countries, speaking over 180 languages and dialects, and following 116 religious beliefs. The repercussion of the Second World War witnessed the arrival of a large number of immigrants especially from Europe. Today 43.5% of the total Melbourne population were either born abroad or are of foreign origin.
When taking a closer look at the Melbourne population one can see a high concentration of Greeks and Italians. Recently people from other countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, India, the Philippines, and Malaysia have also settled down in this city. There has also been an influx from African countries, especially from Sudan. Melbourne stands out as having the highest concentration of the Jewish community in Oceania, not to mention a large Muslim population (source).
Religion in Melbourne
Religion in Melbourne, Australia reflects the diverse multiculture society of Melbourne. Close to 30% of Melbourne residents list their religious affiliation as Catholic. The next highest responses were No Religion at 21%, Anglican 12%, Eastern Orthodox 6% and the Uniting Church 4.0%.
Other religions in Melbourne are Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and Hindus collectively account for 7.5% of the population.
Melbourne and indeed Australia are highly secularised, with the proportion of people identifying themselves as Christian declining from 96% in 1901 to 64% in 2006 and those who did not state their religion or declared no religion rising from 2% to over 30% over the same period (source).