Shepparton is becoming more bilingual and international, according to an analysis of last year’s census data.
About 12 per cent of Greater Shepparton now come from non-English speaking backgrounds, while about 15 per cent of the city’s residents were born overseas.
Meanwhile, 15 per cent of the city spoke a language other than English at home last year, a 12 per cent rise on 2011 findings.
Eleven per cent of Greater Shepparton is bilingual (1450 more than in 2011), while 3 per cent speak another language, but reported difficulty with English (about 340 more than the last census).
Shepparton’s proportion of international residents remains about half of Victoria’s proportion of people born abroad (28 per cent) and from non-English-speaking backgrounds (22 per cent across the state).
The largest non-English speaking country of birth in the City of Greater Shepparton was India, where 1.9 per cent of the population, or 1202 people, were born, .id economics found in its analysis of census data for Greater Shepparton City Council.
The city also reported a smaller proportion of Chinese born residents (0.3 per cent) than the state (2.7 per cent) and about half the proportion of people born in the United Kingdom, 1.7 per cent locally compared to 3.5 per cent across the state.
But in the five years to 2016, the number of people in Greater Shepparton born overseas increased by 1530 or 19.3 per cent, and the number of people from a non-English speaking background increased by 1366 or 22.8 per cent, the data found.
The most significant shifts in the birthplace of Greater Shepparton’s population between 2011 and 2016, was an increase of about 400 people born in India, about 200 born in Afghanistan and about 170 born in each Taiwan and the Philippines.
‘‘Overall, 40.4 per cent of the overseas born population arrived before 2001, and 19.9 per cent arrived during or after 2006, compared with 48.9 per cent and 16.1 per cent respectively for Victoria,’’ .id found.
A smaller proportion of Greater Shepparton was found to speak another language at home than across the state.
More than three-quarters of the population speak only English, compared with 68 per cent for Victoria.
Italian remains the most common language spoken at home in Greater Shepparton outside of English, spoken by 2 per cent of the population, or about 1300 people.
A bigger proportion of Greater Shepparton were last year found to speak Dari or Persian at home, 1.7 per cent, compared with Victoria, 0.6 per cent.
But significantly fewer reported speaking Mandarin at home, 0.7 per cent compared to 3.2 per cent across the state.
Meanwhile, in the five years to 2016, those in the city speaking languages other than English at home increased by almost a quarter, while those who only speak english in Greater Shepparton decreased by 1.3 per cent.
The analysis found there were almost 450 more Dari speakers, almost 400 more Punjabi speakers, about 300 more Mandarin speakers, but fewer Italian speakers.