Using Data Sets

Immigration to Australia means that the population is constantly growing. It is very interesting to look at how the number of people who live in Australia and specifically Victoria has changed over many years since its first population count or census in 1854. It is particularly interesting to know what countries people have come from and how many of each nationality arrived.

The Museum of Victoria website offers some excellent information about the history of the population under their Origins: Immigrant Communities in Victoria page.

Lets look closely at the key census years tab at the bottom of each page there is a table or data set listing the population of people from all different countries who were/are living in Victoria.

What are some mathematical comparisons you could make using this information?
Compare the difference between how many people were from England and the USA in 1854?


In 1894 there were 95182 more English people in Victoria than Americans.

Compare the difference between how many Scottish people lived in Victoria in 1854 against how many Scottish people lived in Australia in 1901?


In 1854 there were 293 more Scottish people living in Victoria than in 1901.

Try and work these out:

In 1901, were there more or less Chinese people living in Victoria compared to in 1854? Put this in a sentence.

In 1961, what was the difference between how many people were from the Netherlands and how many people were from Greece? Put this in a sentence.

Were there more Italians living in Victoria in 1961 or more in 2011? What is the difference? Put this in a sentence.

Now start your own investigation, what comparisons can you make? Create your own equations.

Interesting sites to visit:

Really cool information about our population right now! :



What is paraphrasing?

  • Rewriting information using different words, while keeping the same meaning.

Why do you paraphrase?

  • To show that you understand the information
  • To show that you are not copying other people’s work
    • Cutting and pasting information from the Internet is copying. You need to edit it.
    • To create your own piece of work

How do you paraphrase?

  1. Read the information in short sections
  2. Identify the main ideas
  • What is happening?
  • Why is it happening?
  • When did it happen?
  • Anything else?
  1. Think of new words or ways to explain the information
  2. Read your new information and make sure it has the same meaning as the original.

Let’s paraphrase this information from Wikipedia:

On 26 January 1788, a date now celebrated as Australia Day – but regarded as “Survival Day” or “Invasion Day” by some Aboriginal people and supporters,[9] the British First Fleet of Penal transportation ships landed at Sydney Cove for the purposes of establishing a penal colony.