Increased immigration transforms religious character of Melbourne neighbourhoods

With increasing immigration, the religious character of many Melbourne neighbourhoods has changed, according to census figures.

As about over two million citizens of Melbourne were Christians in 2016, the numbers of Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists have increased.

The Islamic population of the second-largest Australian city was 186,554 in 2016, a growth of 42,000 when compared with the year 2011.

The neighbourhood of Dallas is reported to have one of the largest concentrations of Muslims in Australia, as about half of its residents are Moslems. Their population increased by 45.3 percent from 2011. Meadow Heights also has a high percentage of Muslim population at 41.2.  Muslim proportion of population also increased in Broadmeadows to 35.6 percent from 30.4 percent.

A spokesman for Robin Scott, Victorian Multicultural Affairs Minister, was quoted by Herald Sun as saying that every resident of Victoria had the right to practice their religious beliefs without any restrictions, despite the area they are living in their city.

He added that congregation of religious or cultural groups were not a new development. Scott said that initially new migrants often settle with people of their own culture and leave as time passes by.

On the other hand, in Glen Huntly suburb, 20 percent of the population is Hindu, an increase from 12.3 percent in 2011.

Large number Hindus also reside in the suburb of Williams Landing, where they make up 16.4 percent of the total residents.

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Anshul Singhal

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