Latest data shows multiculturalism in Warrnambool is growing but the jump in diversity has fallen short of the "significant" leap the council had hoped the state's least diverse region would take.
The 2021 census showed 84.4 per cent of the city's residents were born in Australia - a 0.3 per cent increase from the 2016 report. That number is far higher than the state average of 65 per cent.
The city's Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander population grew by a similar margin, seeing a 0.4 per cent increase to a total of two per cent (699 people).
The number of residents from China also rose from 141 to 236 while the Philippines (221) and India (180) were added to the report for the first time.
There was a 0.9 per cent increase in the number of households where a language other than or in addition to English was spoken.
That number totalled 903 or 6.5 per cent in contrast to 762 in the previous report.
Warrnambool mayor Vicki Jellie said she welcomed the new findings.
"Council aims to be a welcoming and inclusive city," she said.
"If, as a city, we project those intentions then I think it allows multiculturalism to flourish.
"We celebrate and recognise our growing, strong and proud Aboriginal community, the First Nations peoples who are the traditional owners of the land."
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She said it was important to have a diverse range of cultures.
"We're also enriched by the presence of other cultures and traditions," Cr Jellie said.
"The numbers point towards a growing multiculturalism in Warrnambool, which we welcome."
While the results were welcome, it was not the "significant increase" the council had expected to see.
That's because the 2016 census data for Warrnambool did not take into account transient employees engaged in the farming and manufacturing industry, who are mostly born overseas.
It was expected with the inclusion of that data the new census figures would show a large spike in diversity among people in Warrnambool.
Taiwanese expat and Warrnambool resident Wei-Lin Mai said the lower-than-expected increase could be due to a lack of internet literacy among oversees-born residents.
"We need to be mindful not everyone from a multicultural background or a culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds would have completed the census," Ms Mai said.
"To complete the census that requires a very high level of digital literacy and having access to the internet and having the time to complete the data for the state government.
"I know I have many friends who didn't complete the census for the state government."
She said the data would now be used as a tool for improvement.
"This only represents a very small part but it tells us what sort of cultural training we need to provide to our workers," she said.
"But what it does do is remind us we need to be more aware of their cultures and improve our practice. The population of Chinese migrants for example has improved. The data tells me what sort of languages I should translate my information brochures into."
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