Skip to content

New South Wales
Proficiency in English

In the New South Wales, 271,686 people who were able to speak another language in 2011, reported difficulty speaking English.

Proficiency in English measures the self-assessed proficiency in spoken English of people who speak a language other than English at home. The data, when viewed with other ethnic and cultural indicators, such as Ancestry, Country of Birth, Language Spoken at Home and Religion, reflects the New South Wales's ethnic composition and how long the overseas born have been in Australia. This helps service providers determine whether they need to communicate with the local population in languages other than English.

Derived from the Census question:

'How well does the person speak English?'

Total NSW population

Proficiency in English
New South Wales - Total persons20112006Change
English proficiencyNumberNew South Wales %Australia %NumberNew South Wales %Australia %2006 to 2011
Speaks English only5,013,32272.575.74,846,67074.077.4+166,652
Speaks another language, and English well or very well1,285,07618.616.01,072,95916.413.9+212,117
Speaks another language, and English not well or not at all271,6863.93.3241,1883.73.0+30,498
Not Stated347,5515.05.0388,3565.95.7-40,805

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

Proficiency in English, 2011
Proficiency in English, 2011 Speaks another language, and English not well or not at all, Total Australia population: 3.3% Speaks another language, and English well or very well, Total Australia population: 16.0% Speaks English only, Total Australia population: 75.7% Speaks another language, and English not well or not at all, New South Wales: 3.9% Speaks another language, and English well or very well, New South Wales: 18.6% Speaks English only, New South Wales: 72.5%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented by .id, the population experts.
Change in Proficiency in English, 2006 to 2011
Change in Proficiency in English, 2006 to 2011 Not Stated, New South Wales: -40,805 Speaks another language, and English not well or not at all, New South Wales: +30,498 Speaks another language, and English well or very well, New South Wales: +212,117 Speaks English only, New South Wales: +166,652
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 proficiency in English data of the New South Wales population compared to the Australian total population shows that in 2011 there was a lower proportion of people who spoke English only, and a higher proportion of people who spoke another language and English not well or not at all.

Emerging groups

The most significant changes in the proficiency in English in this area between 2006 and 2011 were in those speaking:

  • Speaks another language, and English well or very well (+212,117 persons)
  • Speaks English only (+166,652 persons)
  • Speaks another language, and English not well or not at all (+30,498 persons)