What do statistics tell us about the Glebe demographics over the past 15 years?

As mentioned in my previous post, an individual who had been a part of the markets since it’s inauguration, described Glebe as becoming gentrified, since its original status as a ‘hippy town’. They also mentioned the prominence of the housing commission community in Glebe.

In terms of gentrification, the individual that I interviewed was correct. Since 2001 there has been an increase in people over 55 years of age, 19.2% in 2001, 22.4% 2006, and 23.1% in 2011.

As we are studying the Linguistic Landscape of Glebe markets, I was also interested in individuals who were born overseas and languages spoken at home.

In the 2011 Census, 42.6 % of the population of Glebe, NSW (State Suburb) were born overseas in with an almost identical percentage of 42.5% in Sydney (Urban Centre/Locality). Since 2001, the most common Language Other Than English (LOTE) spoken at home in Glebe is Vietnamese, followed by Mandarin or Cantonese. In contrast, the census of Sydney in 2011 showed Arabic as the prominent LOTE followed by Mandarin (ABS, 2011).

Housing commission is present in the South-Eastern End of the Glebe suburb, with an unemployment rate slightly greater than that of Sydney (6.6% compared to 5.7%), and a median weekly household income slightly less. ($1,350 compared to $1,493)

It is evident that of the Glebe population, and the Urban centre of Sydney itself, almost half were born in an overseas country, and approximately 30% speak a LOTE at home, with Asian languages being the most common. This could in turn present a multilingual community and evidence of diverse language use; the question is whether the market space is a vector for this language diversity.

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