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New South Wales
Language spoken at home

In New South Wales, 22.5% of people spoke a language other than English at home in 2011.

The New South Wales's language statistics show the proportion of people who speak a language at home other than English. They indicate how culturally diverse a population is and the degree to which different ethnic groups and nationalities are retaining their language.

The New South Wales's language statistics should be analysed in conjunction with Country of Birth and Proficiency in English to assist in identifying specific cultural and ethnic groups in the area and the services required by the multicultural community.

Derived from the Census question:

'Does the person speak a language other than English at home?'

Total NSW population

Language spoken at home - Ranked by size
New South Wales20112006Change
Language (excl. English)NumberNew South Wales %Australia %NumberNew South Wales %Australia %2006 to 2011
Arabic184,2712.71.7164,9832.51.5+19,288
Mandarin139,7682.01.7100,5961.51.2+39,172
Cantonese136,3672.01.4129,6012.01.4+6,766
Vietnamese87,5001.31.174,5841.11.0+12,916
Greek86,5631.31.286,1521.31.3+411
Italian83,2011.21.387,2921.31.5-4,091
Filipino/Tagalog58,2670.80.747,4670.70.5+10,800
Spanish55,6000.80.649,5530.80.6+6,047
Hindi52,8300.80.638,1510.60.4+14,679
Korean47,4880.70.436,6730.60.3+10,815
Macedonian29,4640.40.328,9380.40.4+526
Indonesian24,7800.40.319,0530.30.2+5,727
Persian/Dari23,6940.30.317,3220.30.2+6,372
German23,4850.30.422,1030.30.4+1,382
Croatian22,8430.30.323,6090.40.3-766
Turkish22,2370.30.320,5970.30.3+1,640
Serbian22,2310.30.321,5980.30.3+633
Punjabi21,5510.30.310,3730.20.1+11,178
Tamil21,5170.30.315,7360.20.2+5,781
Bengali21,4750.30.213,0050.20.1+8,470
Assyrian/Aramaic21,0390.30.216,1380.20.2+4,901
French19,0160.30.315,1850.20.2+3,831
Urdu17,7320.30.210,5530.20.1+7,179
Russian16,4670.20.214,0530.20.2+2,414
Portuguese16,3390.20.213,5470.20.1+2,792
Nepali16,1330.20.23,2140.00.0+12,919
Thai15,7160.20.210,2900.20.1+5,426
Samoan14,9060.20.212,9010.20.2+2,005
Polish14,8820.20.215,5120.20.3-630
Japanese14,3610.20.212,5300.20.2+1,831
Gujarati13,7120.20.25,6520.10.1+8,060
Maltese13,2610.20.214,3390.20.2-1,078
Khmer10,2410.10.18,7760.10.1+1,465
Tongan9,7210.10.18,5060.10.1+1,215
Chinese, nfd9,4250.10.15,0590.10.1+4,366
Dutch9,3470.10.28,7200.10.2+627
Sinhalese9,3380.10.26,7390.10.1+2,599
Non-verbal so described7,6850.10.19,4390.10.1-1,754
Armenian7,5450.10.17,4480.10.1+97
Telugu7,1280.10.13,7480.10.0+3,380
Hungarian6,9990.10.17,5150.10.1-516
Min Nan (incl.Hokkien)6,7490.10.15,8200.10.1+929
Afrikaans6,1800.10.13,6020.10.1+2,578
Malayalam5,7910.10.12,3220.00.0+3,469
Lao5,2190.10.15,2270.10.1-8
Marathi4,3710.10.02,3010.00.0+2,070
Bosnian4,0500.10.13,8670.10.1+183
Burmese4,0270.10.12,7880.00.0+1,239
Fijian3,8780.10.03,3940.10.0+484
Hebrew3,1370.00.02,5130.00.0+624
Czech3,0020.00.02,8480.00.0+154
Malay2,5430.00.11,5610.00.0+982
Swedish2,5400.00.02,0080.00.0+532
Romanian2,3750.00.12,2520.00.0+123
Dinka2,3560.00.01,8160.00.0+540
Māori (New Zealand)2,3420.00.02,2740.00.0+68
Auslan2,2590.00.01,4940.00.0+765
Ukrainian2,2540.00.02,7560.00.0-502
Kurdish2,2530.00.01,8730.00.0+380
Kannada2,2010.00.01,4990.00.0+702
Serbo-Croatian Yugoslavian, so described2,0940.00.02,9010.00.0-807
Shona2,0210.00.01,0400.00.0+981
Slovak1,8660.00.01,6160.00.0+250
Danish1,7540.00.01,7020.00.0+52
Hakka1,6880.00.01,5160.00.0+172
Finnish1,5540.00.01,5240.00.0+30
Pashto1,5050.00.09320.00.0+573
Māori (Cook Island)1,5010.00.01,5000.00.0+1
Wu1,4150.00.09730.00.0+442
Slovene1,3090.00.01,4380.00.0-129
Australian Indigenous Languages1,2990.00.21,9580.00.2-659
Swahili1,1880.00.06130.00.0+575
Latvian1,0380.00.01,2460.00.0-208
Somali9940.00.07890.00.0+205
Norwegian9110.00.06900.00.0+221
Albanian7300.00.06980.00.0+32
Fijian Hindustani7120.00.0--------
Bulgarian7060.00.06360.00.0+70
Amharic6840.00.04300.00.0+254
Karen6700.00.01950.00.0+475
Estonian5310.00.06100.00.0-79
Tibetan3920.00.02060.00.0+186
Tokelauan3860.00.03460.00.0+40
Tetum2780.00.03080.00.0-30
Tigrinya2620.00.0--------
Uygur2280.00.0540.00.0+174
Yiddish1720.00.02070.00.0-35
Hmong1670.00.01220.00.0+45
Indo-Aryan, nfd1490.00.02,3920.00.0-2,243
Oromo1060.00.0310.00.0+75
Tswana700.00.01110.00.0-41
Nuer420.00.0320.00.0+10
Chin Haka330.00.0--------
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Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Language spoken at home - Summary
New South Wales20112006Change
Language summaryNumberNew South Wales %Australia %NumberNew South Wales %Australia %2006 to 2011
Speaks English only5,013,35072.575.74,846,67974.077.4+166,671
Non-English total1,554,28222.519.21,314,54520.116.9+239,737
Not stated349,9605.15.0387,9435.95.7-37,983

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Language spoken at home, 2011
Language spoken at home, 2011 Arabic, Total Australia population: 1.7% Mandarin, Total Australia population: 1.7% Cantonese, Total Australia population: 1.4% Vietnamese, Total Australia population: 1.1% Greek, Total Australia population: 1.2% Italian, Total Australia population: 1.3% Filipino/Tagalog, Total Australia population: 0.7% Spanish, Total Australia population: 0.6% Hindi, Total Australia population: 0.6% Korean, Total Australia population: 0.4% Arabic, New South Wales: 2.7% Mandarin, New South Wales: 2.0% Cantonese, New South Wales: 2.0% Vietnamese, New South Wales: 1.3% Greek, New South Wales: 1.3% Italian, New South Wales: 1.2% Filipino/Tagalog, New South Wales: 0.8% Spanish, New South Wales: 0.8% Hindi, New South Wales: 0.8% Korean, New South Wales: 0.7%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in language spoken at home, 2006 to 2011
Change in language spoken at home, 2006 to 2011 Arabic, New South Wales: +19,288 Mandarin, New South Wales: +39,172 Cantonese, New South Wales: +6,766 Vietnamese, New South Wales: +12,916 Greek, New South Wales: +411 Italian, New South Wales: -4,091 Filipino/Tagalog, New South Wales: +10,800 Spanish, New South Wales: +6,047 Hindi, New South Wales: +14,679 Korean, New South Wales: +10,815
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2006 and 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the languages spoken at home by the New South Wales population compared to the Australian total population shows that in 2011 there was a smaller proportion of people who spoke English only, and a larger proportion of those speaking a non-English language (either exclusively, or in addition to English). Overall, 72.5% of the New South Wales population spoke English only, and 22.5% spoke a non-English language, compared with 75.7% and 19.2% respectively for the Australian total population.

The dominant language spoken at home, other than English, in New South Wales, was Arabic, with 2.7% of the population, or 184,271 people speaking this language at home.

The major difference between the languages spoken at home of the New South Wales population compared to the Australian total population was :

  • A larger percentage speaking Arabic at home (2.7% compared to 1.7%)

Emerging groups

Between 2006 and 2011, the number of New South Wales people who spoke a language other than English at home increased by 239,737 or 18.2%, and the number of people who spoke English only increased by 166,671 or 3.4%.

The largest changes in spoken languages for the New South Wales population between 2006 and 2011 were for those speaking:

  • Mandarin (+39,172 persons)
  • Arabic (+19,288 persons)
  • Hindi (+14,679 persons)
  • Nepali (+12,919 persons)