Gary Bouma and Phillip Hughes
   Data from the 1996 Census are examined at postcode level to determine whether there exist in Australia
   significant locations of religious residential concentration. No postcode was discovered to have more
   than sixty per cent of any religious group; no minority religious group was discovered to make up more
   than forty per cent of any postcode. Comparisons of 1986, 1991 and 1996 census data at the Statistical
   Local Area (SLA) level provide mixed evidence regarding the trends in religious residential
   concentrations. A variety of factors shape the formation of religious residential concentrations of which
   religion is only one.

Residential concentrations of particular                    in Australia, the rise of religious diversity
groups of people have concerned social                      due to immigration and conversion raises
and urban planners for some time. Birrell                   questions about the potential for religious
and others have examined the emergence                      inter-group conflict in Australia. Have
of residential concentrations of compara-                   religious groups settled in isolated
tively poor people from non-English-                        pockets, or has religious settlement in
speaking backgrounds (NESB) in Sydney                       Australia been more residentially dif-
and Melbourne.1 Religion may be a factor                    fused? This investigation replicates and
in the emergence of residential                             extends earlier analysis of 1986 Austra-
concentrations as people who share                          lian census data in order to ascertain the
cultural backgrounds including religion                     extent of change in religious residential
seek to live near each other, or are                        concentration over the last three
attracted by services provided by reli-                     censuses.
gious organisations.2 In addition, religion                     Much previous research into religious
may be used as a dimension in the identi-                   and ethnic residential concentration was
fication of residential concentrations of                   conducted in the United States and the
people.                                                     United Kingdom, and like that of Birrell,
    As religious plurality has become a                     was largely concerned with the negative
major characteristic of many societies                      socioeconomic impact of residential con-
due to immigration and conversion, the                      centration. The study of ethnic residential
analysis of religious residential concen-                   concentration, particularly in the United
trations becomes one of the issues societ-                  States, is associated with the concept of
ies face in the management of religious                     ‘ghetto’. While historically referring to
diversity.3 The past few decades have                       non-voluntary residential segregation of
witnessed the settlement of many reli-                      Jews in particular urban quarters in some
gious groups relatively new to their soci-                  European cities, in the United States the
eties.4 In many parts of the world reli-                    term has come to refer to predominantly
gious diversity has been associated with                    Black, or Hispanic, sections of inner
conflict and war. In Australia, Canada,                     cities that were also often slums.
New Zealand and the United States reli-                     However, Jupp et al. state on the basis of
gious diversity has increased without vio-                  1986 census data that Australia does not
lence or harsh conflict. While violent                      have ghettos in this sense.5 In addition,
religious conflict seems remote from life                   these authors concluded that where

People and Place, vol. 8, no. 3, 2000, page 18
ethnic residential concentration was           gardening.9 In Australia, the location and
highest, segregation did not occur             nature of present day religious con-
because of the overall diversity of those      centrations is likely to reflect the time
districts. The maps produced by Hugo           that particular groups of immigrants
from 1986 census data confirm this             arrived. Post-war migrants have tended to
finding.6 Similarly, Burnley’s analysis of     settle in urban areas. However, this
1991 Australian census data concluded          process does not affect all migrants
that ethnic ghettos do not exist in            equally. Birrell and others have noted
Australia in terms of the criteria used in     that migrants from NESB backgrounds
the USA which require a homogeneous            now settle initially in outer suburbs and
minority group to be more than 80 per          are less likely to move from early areas
cent of the population of an area for it to    of settlement than are English-speaking
be a classified a ghetto.7                     background (ESB) migrants and
                                               Australian-born residents.10 This may
EXPLAINING RELIGIOUS                           well result in persisting, rather than tran-
RESIDENTIAL CONCENTRATION                      sitional, residential concentrations of
Religious residential concentration may        some groups, including religious groups.
reflect timing of migration. The Chicago           While language and country of origin
School’s observations of residential settle-   may also play a role in the process of
ment patterns led to the development of        emerging residential concentrations, reli-
spatial assimilation theory which contends     gious factors may also operate. There may
that immigrant groups first live in specific   be some religious groups whose beliefs
suburbs close to people of the same            and practices promote increasing religious
cultural and linguistic origins and where      residential concentrations over time. Mus-
work is readily available. As immigrants’      lim and Jewish commercial centres pro-
socio-economic situation improves and          vide the permitted halal and kosher food.
‘assimilation’ occurs through adaptation       Similarly, Orthodox Jews need to live
to and entry into a new linguistic and         within walking distance of a synagogue as
cultural environment, these people move        they not allowed to ride in any type of
to suburbs inhabited primarily by the          vehicle on the Sabbath. Religious concen-
dominant cultural and ethnic group. In         tration may also occur around religious
these suburbs, immigrants and especially       buildings and schools.
their children, further assimilate. More           This form of gathering reflects the
recent American studies have indicated         need for cultural, linguistic and social
that as the barriers to immigrants directly    support as well as the need to pursue
entering suburbs are lowered with the          religious and spiritual activities. The need
increased availability of appropriate          for this support and the desire to be near a
employment and cheap housing, direct           mosque, combined with hostility and
suburban settlement is becoming more           discrimination experienced from the host
frequent.8 Similarly, Jupp et. al. noted two   society, is one reason for Islamic resi-
distinct patterns of Australian immigrant      dential concentration.11 Jupp et al. suggest
residential settlement. Direct migration       that areas of high commercial activity by
into ‘utilitarian suburbs’ — for industrial    particular ethnic groups were often the
work and cheap land — or to ‘rural and         cause of unfounded AngloAustralian fears
provincial settlements’ — for traditional      that ghettos were emerging, but these
agricultural activity, like market             authors found that the concentration of

                                                  People and Place, vol. 8, no. 3, 2000, page 19
ethnic commercial activity was not paral-        a high level of migrant diversity making it
lelled by the residential patterns.              a good test case.
However, these unfounded fears were                  This study is based on the 1996
seen to be one source of racial                  census using similar variables to Jupp et.
discrimination against particular groups         al., though following our initial analysis
such as ‘Asians’ and Arabic-speaking             we have used a slightly different method.
Muslims.12                                       Jupp et. al., used Local Government
    This paper raises and answers three          Areas (LGAs) as the unit of analysis. By
questions about religious residential con-       contrast, this study uses Australian
centrations in Australia. To what extent         postcode areas as the unit of analysis
does Australia contain areas of high resi-       because these relate more strongly to
dential concentrations of religious groups?      individual suburbs. In urban areas
Is religious concentration associated with       postcodes form part of a resident’s
socioeconomic disadvantage? Is there             identity along with the name of the
evidence that religious residential con-         suburb. Moreover, Victorian LGAs were
centration is increasing?                        amalgamated in the early to mid-1990s
                                                 creating much larger geographical areas
MEASURING RELIGIOUS                              relating less clearly to suburban
RESIDENTIAL CONCENTRATION                        characteristics. As a result postcodes
Our first question was answered                  present a more locally recognisable
negatively. Consistent with analyses of          residential unit for the analysis of reli-
the 1986 and 1991 census, our examin-            gious concentration. One disadvantage of
ation of the 1996 census revealed that           using postcode areas is that they vary in
were no areas of Australia, large or small,      terms of population and geographical size
in which one religious group exceeded 70         and some boundaries have changed over
per cent of the population, let alone the        time. The smallest unit for which readily
American standard of 80 per cent. The            comparable time change data are
one exception was the Cocos Islands off          available from the census is Statistical
Indonesia where Muslims predominate.             Local Area (SLA). Victoria is divided
There is no urban area in which one              into 202 SLAs. Our examination of
religious group exceeds 60 per cent of the       change in religious concentration over
population. Since no group utterly               time uses Australian Bureau of Statistics
dominated any place, another definition of       (ABS) concorded data for SLA providing
religious residential concentration was          consistent boundaries for comparisons
required. The measure we adopted was to          across the 1986, 1991 and 1996
identify those areas in which a particular       censuses.13
religious group exceeded its overall                 Victoria has 623 postcode areas. Post-
population percentage by more than three         codes with comparatively high levels of
standard deviations. This has allowed us         religious residential concentration were
to map the religious density of religious        identified in the following way. The pro-
groups and the religious diversity of            portion of each religious group in each
suburbs in Australia.                            postcode was calculated. The mean pro-
    We also decided to limit our analysis        portion of each religious group across all
to the state of Victoria — population            623 postcodes was then calculated. This
4,373,518 in 1996 — and to use postcodes         produced a distribution of postcode per-
as the unit of local analysis. Victoria has      centages for each group enabling the cal-

People and Place, vol. 8, no. 3, 2000, page 20
culation of standard deviations. The data     group’s highest postcode percentage, the
presented in Table 1 indicate that each       postcode number in which that occurs, the
group has a different distribution of per-    name of the post code, the minimum
centages. This method of identifying          postcode percentage of the group, the
areas of religious residential concentra-     mean of the postcode percentages, and
tion examines a group’s distribution of       finally that percentage representing three
percentages and asks in which postcodes       standard deviations beyond the postcode
are its percentages three standard devia-     mean for the group. The difference
tions above its overall Victoria postcode     between a group’s percentage in the state
mean. Where this occurs, the group is         and their mean postcode percentage is due
deemed to be residentially concentrated.      to the fact that the mean postcode
In this way the degree of concentration is    percentage is an average of 623 postcode
not arbitrarily set, nor is it set by         percentages.
comparison with other groups, but is              Only Anglicans, Catholics and those
simply a property of the group’s              declaring ‘No Religion’ are found in
percentage distribution across postcodes.     every postcode. These are the three largest
    The results, including the postcode       groups being 17, 29 and 19 per cent of the
with the highest proportion of each group     population of Victoria each and together
and the relationship between postcode         account for 65 per cent of that population.
mean and population per cent are                  While it might be expected that, as a
presented in Table 1. Postcodes in which      group’s size decreases, the propensity to
a religious group was three standard devi-    residential concentration should increase,
ations above its overall Victorian            this is not supported by the data in Table
postcode mean are identified and exam-        1. Baptists, Buddhists, Lutherans and
ined. The postcodes identified in this way    Muslims have similar numbers but quite
represent the most residentially concen-      different distributions. Lutherans and
trated areas for that particular group.       Buddhists have significant residential
    The following analysis of these data      concentrations in 16 and 17 postcodes
proceeds at two levels. First we examine      while Baptists and Muslims show such
the distribution of religious groups in the   concentrations in six and seven postcodes,
state of Victoria and secondly we exam-       respectively. However, Baptist and
ine five suburbs identified to have partic-   Lutheran residential concentrations are
ularly high concentrations of a particular    found in rural areas while Buddhist and
group.                                        Muslim residential concentrations are
                                              urban. Very small groups will easily
THE RESIDENTIAL DISTRIBUTION OF               spike high residential concentrations with
RELIGIOUS GROUPS                              quite small numbers unless they are very
Table 1 presents the basic data on the        widely distributed in the population. For
postcode residential distribution of the      example, there are fewer than 3,000
twenty largest religious groups in Vic-       Oriental Christians in Victoria, but there
toria. For each group, Table 1 presents the   are 19 postcodes in which they appear at
number of postcodes in which the              percentages more than three standard
percentage of the group exceeds its           deviations greater than their postcode
postcode mean by three standard               mean. A few families living in one post-
deviations, the percentage of the state       code would quickly achieve this. For
population represented by the group, the      these reasons it is useful to have a more

                                                 People and Place, vol. 8, no. 3, 2000, page 21
detailed look at religious residential con-                Brethren15 and those declaring ‘no reli-
centration by both religious group and by                  gion’. Much of this reflects early settle-
suburb.                                                    ment patterns of the state of Victoria. But
                                                           post-war migration has caused the growth
A DETAILED EXAMINATION OF                                  of many religious groups some of which
RELIGIOUS GROUPS WITH URBAN                                had been barely noticeable before. This
CONCENTRATIONS                                             growth has occurred primarily in
While each religious group presents a                      Melbourne. The urban residential con-
distinct pattern a few major distinctions                  centration of these religious groups is
emerge. First there are those groups resi-                 considered in greater detail with the
dentially concentrated in rural areas —                    groups presented in order of numerical
Anglicans, Uniting, Presbyterians,                         strength. For each of these groups an
Lutherans, Churches of Christ, Baptist,14                  assessment will be made of whether their
Salvationists, Pentecostals, Mormons,                      residential concentration is increasing or

Table 1: Residential concentrations of religious groups at the postcode level, Victoria 1996
Religious Group          No. of       % of   Highest (Postcode and name)           Lowest   PC       3rd SD
                           post-     Vic’s       con-                             concen- Mean        from
                          codes     popul- centration                               tration  %        mean
                         > 3 SD      ationa       (%)                                  (%)
Anglicans                      2       16.5       42.26 (3874 Sth Carrajung)         3.29 19.51       37.40
Baptists                       4        1.4       10.06 (3537 Barraport)             0.00    1.18      4.12
Brethren                       6        0.1        5.39 (3509 Linga)                 0.00    0.08      1.00
Buddhists                     17        1.4       17.21 (3171 Springvale)            0.00    0.68      5.55
Catholics                      7       29.0       58.28 (3060 Fawkner)               4.95 24.93       49.56
Churches of Christ             9        0.5       10.05 (3391 Brim)                  0.00    0.45      2.49
Hindus                        12        0.4        2.17 (3168 Clayton                0.00    0.19      1.22
Jehovah’s Witnesses            9        0.3        3.84 (3335 Rockbank)              0.00    0.31      1.61
Jews                           6        0.8       39.71 (3161 Caulfield Nth)         0.00    0.44      7.73
Latter-day Saints             12        0.2        2.21 (3236 Forrest)               0.00    0.13      0.78
Lutherans                     16        1.0       29.57 (3423 Allanby)               0.00    1.40      9.81
Muslims                        7        1.5       26.55 (3061 Campbellfield          0.00    0.68      6.84
Oriental Christians           19        0.2        1.24 (3049 Attwood)               0.00    0.07      0.55
Orthodox                      16        4.7       29.66 (3074 Thomastown)            0.00    2.21     13.57
Pentecostals                  10        0.8        6.22 (3238 Laver’s Hill)          0.00    0.64      2.49
Presbyterians                 10        3.9       25.82 (3324 Lismore)               0.00    4.81     13.18
Salvation Army                14        0.4        2.41 (3418 Nhill)                 0.00    0.33      1.47
Seventh-day                   12        0.2        5.94 (3799 Warburton)             0.00    0.17      1.27
Uniting Church                 9        7.4       50.66 (3487 Lascelles)             0.00 11.19       33.52
No Religion                    3       18.7       50.62 (3891 Genoa)                 1.97 19.12       38.56
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics: Census 1996
  Does not add to 100 % because other religions and not stated inadequately described not shown.
  The second most concentrated Hindu area has been selected given the very small population of the first.
SD: Standard Deviation         PC: Postcode

People and Place, vol. 8, no. 3, 2000, page 22
decreasing using concorded SLA data. In        Muslims (67,047)
each case the population of the group          Muslims were three standard deviations
according to the 1996 census is presented      above their postcode mean of 0.7 per cent
in brackets following its name.                in seven postcode areas, the highest of
Catholics (1,257,782)                          which was Campbellfield, a northern
Residential concentrations of Catholics        suburb of Melbourne, in which they
three standard deviations above their post-    represented over a quarter of the
code mean of 25 per cent were found in         population. Muslims were residentially
seven postcodes, with the highest propor-      concentrated in the northern suburbs of
tion representing 58 per cent of the popu-     Melbourne and in some southern suburbs.
lation of Fawkner, a northern suburb of        There were five postcodes in which there
Melbourne. While Catholicism was origi-        were more than 2,600 Muslims in 1996.
nally established in Australia through Irish   Between 1986 and 1996, there has been
convicts on the first fleet in 1788, highly    a slight tendency for the residential con-
concentrated Catholic areas relate more to     centration of Muslims in Victoria to
mid-20th century Italian migration.            increase. In 1986, 50 per cent of all
Catholics are the most numerous religious      Muslims lived in ten statistical local
group in Victoria and the most                 areas. In 1996, a similar proportion lived
residentially concentrated in the outer        in nine statistical local areas. The SLA of
northwestern suburbs of Melbourne.             Hume-Broadmeadows has the largest
There is no evidence of increasing Catho-      number of Muslims — 10,094 (15.5 per
lic residential concentration.                 cent). No other SLA exceeds 3,500
                                               Muslims. There were few Muslims living
The Orthodox (204,609)                         in rural Victoria in 1996.
The Orthodox, of which Greek Orthodox
are the largest single component,              Buddhists (62,784)
exceeded three standard deviations             Buddhist residential concentrations were
beyond their postcode mean of 2.2 per          three standard deviations above their
cent in sixteen postcodes. Their highest       postcode mean of 0.7 per cent in 17 post-
residential concentration was in               codes and were at there greatest at
Thomastown at 30 per cent. Other               Springvale at 17 per cent. Areas of high
residential concentrations of Orthodox         Buddhist concentration were located in
were found in western, northern and            the inner north to northeast and the inner
southeastern suburbs of Melbourne. There       to mid-western suburbs of Melbourne.
were twenty-four postcodes with more           An additional area of high Buddhist
than 2,000 Orthodox. Many of the               concentration was in the outer southern
Orthodox arrived in Australia in the 1950s     suburbs. The residential concentration of
and 1960s. Between 1986 and 1996, they         Buddhists appears to be decreasing
increased by 16 per cent, mainly through       slightly. In 1986, 50 per cent of all
births rather than migration. During that      Buddhists were found in nine SLAs. By
period they decreased slightly in              1996, this had expanded to ten SLAs.
concentration. In 1986, 50 per cent of         Again, there are few Buddhists living in
Orthodox were found in 13 SLAs. In             rural Victoria.
1996, 50 per cent were found in 14 SLAs
indicating a slight reduction in minor         Jews (35,995)
religious residential concentration.           Residential concentrations of Jews were

                                                  People and Place, vol. 8, no. 3, 2000, page 23
three standard deviations above their                    per cent of all Hindus in Victoria were
postcode mean of 0.44 per cent in six                    found in 18 SLAs. By 1996, 50 per cent
postcodes and the highest concentration                  were living in 15 SLAs.
was in Caulfield North at just under 40                  RELIGIOUS RESIDENTIAL
per cent of the population. The choice of                CONCENTRATION: ANOTHER VIEW
this location reflects early location of                 Another way of examining religious resi
synagogues and Jewish social services                    dential concentration is to ask what pro-
and post World War II migration to Mel-                  portion of a group resides in a particular
bourne’s inner Southeast. In 1986, fifty                 SLA. The SLA level was selected
per cent of all Victorian Jews were living               because it allows an assessment over the
in three SLAs. By 1996, fifty per cent                   1986, 1991 and 1996 censuses. We will
lived in only two SLAs, indicating that                  consider Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, and
the residential concentration of Jewish                  Hindus in the SLA with greatest numbers
people has been increasing in recent                     of each. The largest residential concen-
years.                                                   tration of Muslims, Buddhists and Jews is
                                                         clearly within one SLA. For each of these
Hindus (16,708)                                          groups the next SLA concentration is
Residential concentrations of Hindus                     about one third of this maximum. Hindus
were above three standard deviations                     are much more dispersed with nearly
over their postcode mean in twelve post-                 equal residential concentrations in eight
codes and were most concentrated at                      SLAs. Table 2 presents the trends in the
Genoa (rural Victoria) but, given that this              proportion of each religious group that
represented just three peopleof the Hindu                resides in the SLA of their greatest
religion this postcode was excluded from                 concentration.
analysis. The second highest                                 Hindus are the most dispersed of these
concentration was Clayton North where                    groups and Jews the least. Nearly 40 per
2.17 per cent of the population were                     cent of Jews in Victoria live in the SLA
Hindu compared with a Victorian mean                     of Glen Eira-Caulfield and over 10 per
of 0.19 per cent. In only two postcodes                  cent in the SLA of Port Philip-St Kilda.
were there more than 500 Hindu                           Viewed in this way, Muslim and
residents. The main Hindu region of Mel-                 Buddhist residential concentrations have
bourne was located around the outer                      risen and then declined slightly between
southeastern suburbs. The number of                      1986 and 1996. However, the proportion
Hindus in Victoria has risen by over 235                 of Jews and Hindus who reside in one
per cent between 1986 and 1996. Further                  SLA has increased.
analysis shows that the concentration of
Hindus is increasing slightly. In 1986, 50             A DETAILED CONSIDERATION OF
                                                           SIX POSTCODES
 Table 2:                        The proportion of each    Religious groups that settled in
                                 religious group resident  Australia before World War II
                                 in the SLA in which it is enjoy wide distribution throughout
                                 most numerous.
                                                             the State and substantial presence
                                          1986    1991   1996
                                                             in urban areas. Their residential
 Muslims (Hume -Broadmeadows)             11.5    15.4  15.0 concentrations are located in
 Buddhists (Dandenong-Bal)                10.5    15.4 15.04 sparsely populated rural areas. The
 Jews (Glen Eira - Caulfield              36.1    36.7  39.5 residential concentrations of more
 Hindus (Monash – Waverley East             3.7    4.2    5.3

People and Place, vol. 8, no. 3, 2000, page 24
recently arrived groups are found in                 probably reflects the fact that this is an
urban areas. Both settlement patterns                elderly group with a high proportion
reflect the location of economic                     retired. However, the presence of a high
opportunities prevalent at the time the              residential concentration of a religious
group arrived. Moreover the support                  group does not necessarily imply a low
services for recently arrived immigrants             socio-economic level. North Caulfield
are located in cities. In order to paint a           has a comparatively high socio-economic
more complete picture of what is                     status. One factor in the relative wealth of
happening in metropolitan areas the Mel-             this postcode is that many who migrated
bourne postcodes with highest rates of               here earlier and with valued training and
religious residential concentration for              skills live here.
each of six religious groups were selected               Springvale provides a marked com-
for further consideration. Six urban post-           parison with North Caulfield as it has a
codes will be described in detail — Cath-            comparatively low socio-economic level.
olics in Fawkner, Jews in Caulfield                  However, again this appears to have little
North, Orthodox in Thomastown, Mus-                  to do with the concentration of a particu-
lims in Campbellfield, Buddhists in                  lar religious group. Rather, it is a result of
Springvale and Hindus in Clayton North.              recent settlement of people from many
    Table 3 compares information about               backgrounds who have few skills and
six urban postcodes each with the highest            resources, many of whom have been ref-
residential concentration of one religious           ugees. A fifth do not speak English well
group. Of the six postcodes examined                 and the same proportion work as labour-
above, four were in the bottom five per              ers. According to the 1996 Census,
cent of postcodes as measured by the                 unemployment is at 8.1 per cent and only
Socio-economic Indexes for Areas                     three in every 20 earn over $500 a week.
(SEIFA)16 score of disadvantage. The                 Around 15 per cent of the total popula-
densest residential concentration was                tions of Clayton North (a Hindu area) and
among Catholics in Fawkner. The rela-                Springvale (a Buddhist area) arrived
tively low SEIFA score in this postcode              between 1991 and 1996, while another 18
Table 3: Six postcodes with the highest religious residential concentrations of post-war
         immigrants, 1996
                           Fawkner     Caulfield   Thomastown Campbell-       Springvale     Clayton
                                                                   field                      North

Religious concentration    Catholics       Jews       Orthodox     Muslims     Buddhists       Hindus
Concentration level (%)          58           40            30           25            17              2
Other religious            Anglican    Catholic        Catholic    Catholic     Orthodox      Catholic
concentrations (%)                7          13             37          42             8           29
                            Muslim     Anglican        Muslim     Orthodox      Anglican     Orthodox
                                  6           9               7         11             6           11

NESB concentration (%)           39           20            47           43            35           35
Unemployed (%)                    6            4             6            7             8              6
Individual income <$500
                                 72           64            61           69            60           67
per week (%)

SEIFA score                     897        1,115           919          900           869         968

Source: ABS, 1996 Census

                                                         People and Place, vol. 8, no. 3, 2000, page 25
per cent of Clayton North and 22 per cent                  other groups.
of Springvale’s total populations had                          There is some evidence that high con-
arrived prior to 1981. This indicates that                 centration of religious groups who have
religious concentration in those areas is                  settled in Australia since World War II is
comprised of a number of waves of immi-                    associated with lower socio-economic
gration and that their relatively low                      levels. However, this association appears
SEIFA score is the result of recency of                    to reflect timing of migration, possession
migration combined with a comparative                      of marketable skills and facility with
lack of skills rather than religion. The                   English rather than anything to do with
association between NESB and SEIFA                         religious belief, practice or residential
score is quite strong in Table 3.                          concentration.
                                                               Many Jewish, Muslim, Orthodox,
CONCLUSION                                                 Hindu and Buddhist immigrants have
This paper has described the patterns and                  settled in particular suburbs. This has
trends of religious residential concentra-                 occurred partly because of employment
tion in the state of Victoria. Religious                   opportunities, the availability of housing
groups are not randomly distributed in                     in the appropriate price bracket, the pres-
Australia, or in Victoria. Nevertheless, no                ence of other people from a similar back-
Victorian postcode or SLA constituted a                    ground living in the area, a high level of
religious ghetto as this term has been                     family-reunion related migration and the
defined in American literature. The                        availability of religious and ethnic
locations of residential concentrations of                 resources such as social services, appro-
religious groups that were identified were                 priate food and opportunities for wor-
primarily a result of timing patterns of                   ship.17 Sponsorship, similarities with
immigrant settlement. There are no                         existing migrant communities, including
religious groups that have grown                           shared religious faith, and availability of
substantial residential concentrations due                 social services may promote the increase
to proselytising in Australia. Suburbs                     of religious residential concentrations. As
including high residential concentrations                  religious settlement proceeds and more
of some religious groups also include                      services — religious and social — are
substantial proportions of other groups                    supplied by religious groups there may be
thus maintaining religious diversity at the                an increased tendency towards religious
local level. The most religiously                          residential concentration. However, the
concentrated postcode was 58 per cent                      evidence on whether religious residential
Catholic, but the individuals professing                   concentration has been increasing or
the Catholic faith were from a variety of                  decreasing is mixed.
ethnic backgrounds. All postcodes with
comparatively high residential                             Note
concentrations of Buddhists, Muslims,                      This research was supported by a grant from the
                                                           Monash University Research Fund. The authors
Hindus, Jews and most Christian                            wish to thank Sharon Bond for research assistance
denominations also include a range of                      in producing this article.

    B. Birrell and B. Seol ‘Sydney’s ethnic underclass’, People and Place, vol. 6, no. 3, 1998, pp. 16-29; B.
    Birrell, K. O’Connor and V. Rapson, ‘Explaining spatial concentrations of poor in metropolitan Melbourne’,
    People and Place, vol. 7, no. 1, 1999, pp. 53-52; and B. Birrell ‘Residential relocation in Sydney and the
    NSW coast over the period 1991 to 1996’, People and Place, vol. 7, no. 2, 1999, pp. 48-59

People and Place, vol. 8, no. 3, 2000, page 26
     G.D. Bouma, Mosques and Muslim Settlement in Australia, Bureau of Immigration, Multiculturalism and
     Population Research, Canberra, 1994
     G. D. Bouma, ‘From hegemony to pluralism: Managing religious diversity in modernity and post-modernity,’
     Australian Religious Studies Review, vol. 12, no. 3, 1999a, pp. 7-27; G.D. Bouma, (Ed.) Managing Religious
     Diversity: From Threat to Promise, Australian Association for the Study of Religions, Erskineville, NSW,
     1999b; G. D. Bouma ‘The religious settlement of Islam in Australia’, Social Compass, no. 44, 1997a; pp.
     71-84; G. D. Bouma (Ed.) Many Religions: All Australian: Religious Settlement, Identity and Cultural
     Diversity, Christian Research Association, Kew, Vic, 1997b; and G. D. Bouma, ‘The emergence of religious
     plurality in Australia, a multicultural society’, Sociology of Religion, no. 56, 1995, pp. 285-302
     G. D. Bouma 1997a and 1997b, op cit., and S.Warner (Ed.) Gatherings in Diaspora: Religious Communities
     and New Immigrants, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1998
     J. Jupp, A. McRobbie and B.York, Metropolitan Ghettos and Ethnic Concentrations, Working Papers on
     Multiculturalism, The Centre for Multicultural Studies, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, 1990
     G. Hugo, Atlas of the Australian People, Victoria, Australian Government Printing Service, Canberra, 1991
     pp. 353-370,
     I. Burnley, ‘Levels of Immigrant residential concentration in Sydney and their relationship with
     disadvantage’, Urban Studies, no. 36, 1999, pp. 1295-1315
     R. Alba, J. Logan, B Stults, G Marzan, and W Zhang, ‘Immigrant groups in the suburbs: A re-examination
     of suburbanization and spatial assimilation’, American Sociological Review, no. 64, 1999 pp. 446-460
     Jupp et al., 1990, op. cit.
     Birrell and Seol, 1998, op. cit; Birrell et al., 1999, op. cit.
     Bouma, 1994, op. cit.
     Jupp et al. op., 1990, cit.
     In Victoria most LGAs contain two or three SLAs.
     The only urban postcode above three standard deviations for Baptists was Kangaroo Ground at five per cent.
     This area does not have a large population and includes the Wycliffe Bible Translators with on-site
     accommodation for linguists.
     The only postcode of Brethren concentration in Melbourne is located at Kangaroo Ground at 1.6 per cent.
     As for the Baptists, this is likely to be due to an overall low population and the location of the Wycliffe Bible
     Socio-economic Indexes for Areas, Catalogue no. 2912.0, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra. 1994.
     A SEIFA score of 1000 indicates the national mean. Scores above 1000 indicate comparatively ‘advantaged’
     suburbs and scores below 1000 relative disadvantage.
     Bouma, 1994, op. cit. and 1997b, op. cit.

                                                                    People and Place, vol. 8, no. 3, 2000, page 27

To top