Changes in Victoria

Population changes from 1851-1861

Why did the population increase?

The Gold Rush had a massive effect on the population of Victoria. Between 1851 and 1861 the population grew from approximately 97,000 people to over half a million people because of the gold rush. Over 400,000 people came from countries all over the world such as; China, North America, Europe and all over Australia. The Gold Rush attracted people because many- rich and poor- viewed it as an opportunity to either become rich, or richer. The people that migrated from overseas were at first, mostly men- but over time their families began to make their way over too- making the population of Victoria larger and more multicultural.

INTERNATIONAL IMMIGRANTS

Before the Gold Rush, majority of the population of Victoria was British, however as more and more people travelled to Australia- the number of people that were not British increased greatly- especially that of the Chinese. Between 1854 and 1855- around 31,000 Chinese arrived in Melbourne. 18,000 arrived from America and 15,000 from European countries excluding Britain and by 1861 only 29% of the population were Australian.

RACISM IN THE POPULATION

As most of the Victorian population was white- the Chinese immigrants were not respected, and had to deal with a lot of racism directed at them. In 1855 the Victorian Government imposed a £10 tax for each Chinese person arriving in the colony. There were many attacks made on Chinese miners, including when, in 1857 120 miners attacked a Chinese camp- stole their gold and burt their tents and belongings. Many of the Chinese died as a result of the fire.There were also many cartoon like pictures of the Chinese in newspapers depicting them as evil and untrustworthy.