Report cover
Inner urban conservation and development - An independent panel report on a proposal for Smith Street, Collingwood, under Melbourne 2030. Edited by Miles Lewis, August 2004. Order your copy

The Community

There is great diversity amongst Collingwood residents in terms of who they are, what they do, where they come from and where they are at economically, socially and physically. What they seem to share in the main though, are some similar attitudes, particularly towards Collingwood itself.

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Panoramic view of Smith Street and the city skyline
Photo by Roger Simpson
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Most feel genuine affection towards and involvement with the diversity it offers, the 'realness' it offers, the tolerance towards the diversity, the inner city vibe, different things going on, the shops, restaurants and cafes which give it a community feel, the architecture that gives it a sense of heritage, the vibrant arts and culture. In essence, Collingwood�s character.

The stats on Collingwood


According to the statistics on Yarra City's website there are just over 9,000 people living in Collingwood. In the 5 years between the 1996 and 2001 census; Collingwood has grown in population by 6.6% - the second highest growth in the city to Carlton.

If you're interested in stats, read on...

Collingwood is typified by the high number of people with a birthplace other than Australia and those with Indigenous origins; 75% medium - high density housing; also hotels, hospitals, boarding houses, hostels, prisons and other institutions. The average household size is 2.1 and has fallen- below the average household size in Melbourne.


How old are people living in Collingwood?


The bulk of the population is aged 15-64 years with almost half of all persons aged 20-39 years and a median age of 32 years, which makes for a younger population overall.


What kind of relationships are people in Collingwood in?


53% of Collingwood residents have never married, whilst 28% have- the lowest proportion in the City of Yarra. 18.6% are separated, divorced or widowed- the highest proportion for the City of Yarra. 11.7% are in a defacto marriage (which includes opposite sex and same sex couple relationships).


What is the household structure?


62.2% live in one family households, which includes couples and single parents with and without children. There is a prevalence of smaller families and lower numbers of children overall. Couples with children are on the decline, whilst couples without are on the incline.

Collingwood has a higher proportion of multi-family households (2.8%) compared to Yarra and Melbourne, albeit small. 16.2% live in group households/house sharing - higher than for the rest of Melbourne but lower for Yarra. 18.7% are single person households. 18.7% fully own their dwelling, 18.5% are being purchased and just over half, 51.1%, are rented - the highest for Yarra.


Destination Collingwood- where do residents come from?


32.7% or every 3rd person in Collingwood is from a birthplace outside Australia (highest for Yarra). The top birthplaces (in order) are:

  • Vietnam
  • Greece
  • England
  • New Zealand
  • Italy
  • China
  • Turkey


Education status


When it comes to education, there are 6.9% of the Collingwood population attending primary/secondary school, 3.3% attending TAFE (highest in Yarra) and 8.7% attending university or another tertiary institution. In all, there are 32.9% (again, every 3rd person) attending an educational institution (slightly higher than for Yarra - 31.2%). The proportion of those attending university has increased.

26.6% have completed a tertiary qualification - a large increase from the '96 census although still under the Yarra average (33%), however much higher than for the Melbourne average (16.1%). Collingwood also has the highest proportion of people with no qualifications in Yarra - 43.1% vs 39.9%. The most popular fields of education are:

  • Society and culture
  • Management and commerce
  • Creative arts
  • Engineering
  • Health


Mobile Collingwood


62% of Collingwood residents have one or no vehicles- 23% have no vehicles- the highest in Yarra, although falling. Dwellings with 2 vehicles have increased slightly to 18.3%. 4.2% have 3 or more vehicles. Collingwood has fewer motor vehicles per household than any other region in Yarra. In terms of travelling to work, 43.2% do so by car, 9.3% by train and/or bus, whilst 10.2% do so on trams.


Connected Collingwood


38% used a computer in the week prior to the census (lower than for Yarra), whilst 45% used the internet somewhere (lower than for Yarra; higher than Melbourne).


What is the income and employment status of Collingwood residents like?


Collingwood has the lowest median income for Yarra - approximately 10% of households have an income of less than $200 per week whilst 26.8% have a household income of $1500 or more per week. This higher earning segment is experiencing large growth, ie. affluency is increasing.

56% are employed whilst unemployment is at a rate of 9.8%- highest for the City of Yarra, but declining. In terms of occupation, professionals are the largest group at 34.8% and increasing. Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers = 15.2% and associate professionals = 11.4% (increasing). Intermediate production and transport workers/labourers and related occupations on the decline.


What kind of businesses exist in Collingwood?


The largest industry in the area is property and business services at 17.8% followed by manufacturing- 11.3% and retail trade- 10.9%. Manufacturing is on the decline whilst property and business services are on the increase.

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