1384.6 - Statistics - Tasmania, 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/04/2004   
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Contents >> Culture and the Arts >> Cultural and natural heritage >> Ethnic and cultural identity

An individual’s background or place of origin is a major component of cultural identity. It provides a sense of membership and belonging. Cultural identity is that which gives us a sense of ourselves.


The 2001 Census recorded 15,773 people who identified as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin. This represents an increase of 1,900 people (or 14.0%) since 1996. Changing social attitudes, political developments and improved statistical coverage are all factors that have contributed to the increased likelihood of people identifying as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

ABS statistics on Tasmania's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population can be found at Tasmanian snapshot - 2001 Census data.


The 2001 Census count recorded the number of people in Tasmania who were born overseas (including overseas visitors who were in Tasmania on census night) as 45,375 (9.9%). The three main countries of birth were the United Kingdom (21,306 or 4.7%), New Zealand (3,590 or 0.8%) and the Netherlands (2,483 or 0.6%).

In Tasmania, English was the only language spoken at home by 421,034 people (93.0%) in 2001. The three most common languages spoken at home other than English were Italian, 1,464 (0.3%), German, 1,363 (0.3%) and Chinese Languages, 1,342 (0.3%).

The Tasmanian Government's Multicultural Policy (September 2001) states that Tasmania is and will remain a culturally diverse society, and that multiculturalism brings economic and social benefits to the State. The Policy lists four main objectives:

  • to increase the share of migrants coming to Tasmania
  • to improve the retention rate of migrants once they have arrived in Tasmania
  • to improve access to Government services for migrants
  • to improve understanding of the value and benefits of multiculturalism throughout the community.

ABS statistics on Tasmania's multicultural population can be found at Tasmanian snapshot - 2001 Census data.

Further information can be found on the Department of Premier and Cabinet web site, under Multicultural Tasmania http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/multitas

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