Maribyrnong facing high levels of mental health conditions

By Matthew Sims

The proportion of Maribyrnong residents suffering from a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, has been recorded above the state and national figures, according to the 2021 Census data.

Released on Tuesday, June 28, the data highlighted that 9.9 per cent of Maribyrnong respondents indicated they suffer from a mental health condition, which was 1.1 per cent more than the proportion of Victorian and Australian respondents who detailed they had a mental health condition.

Australian Statistician Dr David Gruen said the 2021 Census was the first time a question about long-term health conditions were included.

“This is critical data to inform planning and service delivery decisions about how treatment and care is provided for all Australians,” he said.

“Census data complements existing ABS health surveys by providing additional insights about the communities that require services to support complex health needs.”

In Hobsons Bay, 8.4 per cent of respondents indicated they suffer from a mental health condition, which was slightly below the 8.8 per cent figure across Victoria and Australia.

Across the Maribyrnong local government area, there was an extra 2921 residents with a total of 85,209 respondents.

Spotswood was among the biggest growth suburb, with 216 new residents joining the community during the 2016 to 2021 period, representing a 8.3 per cent jump.

Other significant population increases included Altona (6.8 per cent), Brooklyn (6.6 per cent) and Braybrook (5.3 per cent).

Altona Meadows’ population decreased by 3.6 per cent over five years, from 19,160 to 18,479.

Of these respondents, 44.5 per cent responded that they followed no religion, while 18.9 per cent were Catholic and eight per cent followed Buddhism.

In Hobsons Bay, 38.2 per cent of those surveyed indicated they followed no religion, while 25.7 per cent were Catholic and 5.6 per cent were Eastern Orthodox.

“Census religion data shows a characteristic of Australia that has changed significantly over the past two decades,” Dr Gruen said.

“Knowing about the religious affiliation across the population supports local planning for facilities, goods and services for Australians who identify as religious and helps them to live according to their beliefs.”

In Hobsons Bay, there was a 2.9 per cent population increase from the 2016 Census data to 2021, with a total of 91,322 respondents in the 2021 Census.

A total of 7.4 per cent of Hobsons Bay respondents indicated they had Italian heritage.

However, in Maribyrnong, more than one in every 10 respondents indicated they had Vietnamese heritage, placing it as the most prevalent heritage within Maribyrnong outside of Australian or English, with people with Chinese heritage representing 9.3 per cent of respondents.

Across Maribyrnong, nine per cent of respondents indicated they were born in Vietnam, which was a small decrease from 9.3 per cent of respondents indicating they were born in Vietnam in the 2016 Census.

Vietnamese was also the top response of languages used at home other than English in Maribyrnong, while other languages included Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek and Spanish.

In Hobsons Bay, Arabic was the top response of languages used at home other than English at three per cent, with other languages including Greek, Vietnamese, Italian and Mandarin.

In Footscray, 49.1 per cent of respondents highlighted they were born overseas, while 24.9 per cent of 2021 respondents in Williamstown indicated they were born overseas.

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