The story of culturally diverse communities – Indians in Parramatta
.id’s new Communities of Interest module has the capability to look in depth at particular population groups in your area based on a characteristic.
Some of the most interesting stories in Australian demographics in recent years has come from the emerging migrant communities in many areas. The migration rate is up nationwide, and many people of hundreds of different nationalities are calling Australia home.
Parramatta is one of the most diverse LGAs in the country, and this blog tells the story of just one community, the largest, people born in India.
People born in India
The Indian-born community is one of the fastest growing in Australia, and one of the largest communities is in Parramatta.
It is the largest overseas-born group in Parramatta, at 8.2% of population, and the population doubled, with a 6,500 person increase between 2006 and 2011.
The Indian-born population is young, with most aged between 20 and 40 – more so than any other group. 64% of them arrived in the previous 5 years. There is a general perception that most are students, but this is clearly not the case. Only 6.3% were attending university, slightly more than the 5.6% found for the total population of Parramatta.
They are, however, very skilled migrants, with 64.1% having a degree qualification or higher. The rate among the total population in Parramatta is 26%.
Those born in India mostly live in couple families, either with or without children, but with a substantial minority (8.3%, double the total population average) in group households, which is generally a house-sharing arrangement. Overwhelmingly they are renting in the private market (70.8%) and 60% live in high density housing – if you have a look at the map of where the Indian population lives, it is mainly in central Parramatta, Harris Park and Westmead, all of which are dominated by denser housing forms.
The higher qualification levels of the Indian-born population do lead to higher incomes, but not as much higher as the qualification levels might suggest.
Perhaps the most interesting information about the Indian population which is contained in the Communities of Interest module, is the language breakdown. For each birthplace group we can now get a breakdown of which languages they speak. A participant of Indian descent at one of my training sessions once told me there are 29 official languages in India, including English. Looking at this Wikipedia page, it’s a very complex linguistic geography indeed!
The Indian-born population in Parramatta are predominantly Gujarati speakers (from the north-west of India). This language comprises 26.5% of Parramatta’s Indian-born population, compared to just 11.5% of Greater Sydney. The next major languages are Hindi (22.8%) and Punjabi (12.6%, but below the Sydney average for Indian-born). English speakers make up 16.4% of Indian-born population across Sydney, but only about half that (8.4%) in Parramatta. Of course this is not to say that the others don’t speak English – most Indian people have very good English proficiency, so this indicator is more giving an idea of the region of India they are coming from.
So the Indian-born population of Parramatta are young, highly educated, relatively high income, living in 2-bedroom high-density rental housing, in family units of 3-4 persons on average. There is a lot more information for each Community of Interest, but this gives some idea of the story it can tell.
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