Census confirms Hume is a multicultural mecca

HUME’S reputation as a cultural melting pot has been substantiated with the latest census data showing an increase in migrant families.

The 2011 census figures, released last week, show an overall population rise of 19,781 people since 2006.

Hume’s religious diversity is also on the rise with Muslim resident numbers increasing by 6969 to 26,658.

Data also revealed that two or more languages were spoken in 43 per cent of homes.

Of the current 167,562 population, 83,568 had both parents born overseas.

Since 2006, Iraqi migrants have almost doubled, up from 4483 to 7194, while the number of people with a Turkish background has increased from 5762 to 6457.

Greenvale resident Fusun Gumus migrated from Turkey to Hume in 1972 as an infant.

Forty years later, she still lives in Hume and has raised three children with her husband, who also migrated from Turkey. She enjoys the diversity that Hume offers.

“Basically we’ve got the same type of people here and many of them share the same religious beliefs; we feel comfortable here.”

Hume mayor Ros Spence said the population growth presented challenges to the area, but the council was investing in services to accommodate the rapid rise.

“The huge population growth in Hume brings opportunities for the city but also challenges,” she said.

“Our population is expected to grow by another 100,000 in the next 20 years and the council is planning to cater for this record growth.”

Cr Spence said $221.2 million earmarked for capital works between 2012-13 and 2015-16 would allow the council to cater for the population surge.

“As our municipality grows we are also able to provide more local employment opportunities within the council.

“We are also working hard to support local employers to ensure as many Hume residents as possible have the option of working close to home.”