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Hurstville: Sydney’s real Chinatown

16 Dec 2016

Sydney

Hurstville, 16 kilometres south-west of the CBD, occupies a unique spot on Sydney’s demographic map.

With more than half of its residents reporting Chinese ancestry, it is the only suburb across all of NSW where one community of non-English migrants outnumbers everyone else combined.

Asia prepares for Lunar New Year
RAW VISION: crowds gather in markets from Hong Kong to Hanoi, buying sheep and goat-related decorations in preparation for the Lunar New Year celebration.

Based on figures from the last census, 52.5 per cent of Hurstville’s population reported their heritage as Chinese. Other suburbs came close – Burwood (41 per cent), Eastwood (36.5 per cent) and Haymarket (36 per cent) – but none tipped the scales past halfway.Advertisement

Geared up for New Year: Sydney's Chinatown.
Geared up for New Year: Sydney’s Chinatown.CREDIT:FIONA MORRIS

Graphic: Conrad Walters, Source: 2011 Census

Migrants of most nations congregate in cities as a way of finding support in a new land and as a means of preserving culture. Sydney’s Chinese population is typical in that way.

Across Greater Sydney that behaviour has produced clusters on both sides of the Harbour Bridge and dense, if isolated, populations stretch from the city centre as far west as Cabramatta.

According to the census, which asked people to report two responses for ancestry – one per parent – barely a suburb emerges without some component of Chinese ancestry.

And what of those rare gaps, such as Rookwood?

There may well be thousands of Chinese migrants at Rookwood, but not one filled out the 2011 census. It’s the cemetery.

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/hurstville-sydneys-real-chinatown-20150218-13ia0l.html

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