The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has developed the Australian Standard Classification of Languages in response to a wide community interest in the language use of the Australian population and to meet a growing statistical and administrative need.
The Australian Standard Classification of Languages should be used whenever demographic, labour and social statistics are classified by language. The ABS will use the classification in its own statistical work, for example, in the 1996 Census of Population and Housing. The ABS urges its use by other government agencies, community groups, and academic and private sector organisations collecting, analysing, or using information relating to language use. This will improve the comparability of data from these sources.
The classification will be revised periodically to reflect the changes to Australia's language profile brought about by changing migration patterns.
The assistance and efforts of numerous organisations and individuals in providing information and advice, and otherwise contributing to the consultation process during the development of the classification, is gratefully acknowledged.