This paper presents cultural diversity data from the 2011 Census of
Population and Housing for the 39 NSW State Electoral Districts (SEDs) located
in regional NSW, as redistributed in 2013. Data from the 2006 Census is also
included for several census indicators. A companion background paper contains
the profiles of the 54 NSW SEDs located in Greater Sydney – NSW
Electorate Profiles: cultural diversity (2013 Redistribution – Greater
The impetus behind this paper lies in part in requests for information on
cultural diversity received by the Research Service from Members of Parliament,
but also derives from the significance of cultural diversity in NSW in social,
historical and political terms. This paper provides a snapshot of cultural
diversity in each electorate and examines certain characteristics of people
born in non-English speaking countries.
Each electorate profile is in two parts. Following a map of the electorate,
the first part sets out three census indicators of cultural diversity –
country of birth, ancestry and language spoken at home. These indicators
measure a different aspect of cultural diversity, each having its own
limitations. Note that for the purposes of this paper, the term ‘cultural
diversity’ encompasses ethnicity and language.
Country of birth is a count of the number of first-generation
immigrants born in a country defined according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries.
There are two limitations to using country of birth as a proxy for ethnicity,
where ethnicity refers to the shared identity or similarity of a group of
people based on one or more factors such as shared history, cultural tradition,
geographic origin, language and race. Country of birth does not count any
immigrants beyond the first-generation. It also involves the assumption that a
person’s country of birth is equivalent to their ethnicity, leading to
the problem where, for example, a person of Indian ethnicity born in England
would be counted as English by this indicator.
Ancestry is a count of the number of persons who have identified a
particular ethnic or cultural group as being his or her ancestry as defined
according to the Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic
Groups. Compared to country of birth, ancestry is a more
subjective measure of ethnicity as it involves self-identification of
ethnic or cultural group affiliation. Census respondents may report up to two
ancestries. Where two ancestries are given, both are taken into account in this
Language spoken at home is a count of the number of persons who speak
a language other than English at home according to the Australian Standard Classification of Languages.
This indicator may be used as a proxy for ethnicity. While it may count
immigrants beyond the first-generation, it could also exclude first-generation
immigrants who no longer speak their native language, having been in Australia
a long time or because they live with people who do not speak the language.
Because of their differences, these three indicators may produce
significantly different figures. For example, in the Albury electorate, 411
persons were born in Germany, 197 speak German at home and 5,687 persons
claimed German ancestry. Country of birth was chosen for more in-depth analysis
because it is a more objective count of ethnicity.
The second part of each profile examines the electorate’s five largest
populations of people born in a non-English speaking country. These populations
are broken down by the following indicators:
· Labour force;
· Personal weekly income;
· Highest level of schooling completed; and
· Highest non-school qualification attained.
Several interpretative points bear keeping in mind when reading the profiles:
· The percentages included in each Table are based on the total figures set
out in that Table, except in the case of the unemployment rate, which is
calculated as a percentage of the labour force, that is the total number of
employed and unemployed people; and
· The terminology employed has been adopted from the Census. A brief table
of definitions is included at the end of each profile.