Every stat tells a story.

2021 Census data delivers insights into Norfolk Island’s Pitcairn heritage

Media Release

Data from the 2021 Census shows that one quarter of Norfolk Island’s population identified as having Pitcairn ancestry, reflecting the unique history and culture of the Island. There were also 567 usual residents in the rest of Australia with Pitcairn ancestry.

Norfolk Island’s Pitcairn heritage is evident in the use of language, with over 30 per cent of people reporting speaking Norf’k-Pitcairn at home. Almost two-thirds of people on Norfolk Island who spoke Norf’k-Pitcairn had Pitcairn ancestry.

Norf’k-Pitcairn was also spoken by usual residents in the rest of Australia. In 2021, there were 244 people living off Norfolk Island who used this language at home.

The 2021 Census was the first time that ‘Norfolk Islander’ was an available ancestry response. Census data shows that 319 people (15 per cent) on Norfolk Island identified as having Norfolk Islander ancestry. Other common ancestries on Norfolk Island were Australian (28 per cent), English (27 per cent) and Scottish (9 per cent).

The 2021 Census also showed an increase in the population of usual residents on Norfolk Island from 1,748 in 2016 to 2,188 in 2021.

Duncan Young, Census General Manager, said that the high-quality data was a result of the positive engagement with the Norfolk Island community during the 2021 Census collection period.

Mr Young said that 2021 Census data is not only important for planning and policy development, but for supporting local councils, local businesses and the community more broadly.

The Census collects information that provides insights into the cultural background of the population. This includes ancestry, country of birth, and languages used at home.

Further analysis of 2021 Census data for Norfolk Island is available in the article ‘Understanding ancestry, language and birthplace of the Norfolk Island population’.

Media notes

  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on media@abs.gov.au
    or 1300 175 070.

  • Additional 2021 Census data on Norfolk Island can accessed via QuickStats.

  • Further information on 2021 Census is available in the Census media backgrounders.

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