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2076.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2011 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2012  First Issue
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LANGUAGE

KEY FINDINGS

In the 2011 Census:

  • 83% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke English only at home, compared with 82% in the 2006 Census
  • 11% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke an Australian Indigenous language at home, the same proportion as in 2006
  • 82% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who spoke an Indigenous language at home reported speaking English well or very well, up from 79% in 2006
  • 17% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who spoke an Indigenous language at home reported not speaking English well or at all, down from 19% in 2006.

LANGUAGE SPOKEN AT HOME

In the 2011 Census, 83% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported speaking only English at home, similar to the proportion of non-Indigenous people (80%).

About one in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (11%) reported speaking an Australian Indigenous language at home. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 44 years were most likely to speak an Indigenous language at home (13%), followed closely by those aged 15 to 24 years and those aged 45 years and over (both 11%). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 14 years and under were least likely to speak an Indigenous language (10%) and most likely to speak only English at home (85%).

Of the Australian Indigenous languages spoken at home, languages in the Arnhem Land and Daly River Region Languages and Western Desert Languages groups were the most widely spoken (18% and 14% respectively). The next most prominent language groups spoken at home were Yolngu Matha and Torres Strait Island Languages (11% each).


AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE SPEAKERS BY LANGUAGE GROUP(a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people(b)

Graph shows Arnhem Land and Daly River Region languages have the highest proportion of speakers, followed by Western Desert languages, Yolngu Matha and Torres Strait Island languages.



PROFICIENCY IN SPOKEN ENGLISH

Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who spoke an Australian Indigenous language at home, the majority (82%) reported speaking English well or very well, while 17% reported they did not speak English well or at all. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 44 years reported the highest rate of speaking English well or very well (91%).


AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE SPEAKERS BY PROFICIENCY IN ENGLISH(a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people(b)

Graph shows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 44 years reported the highest rate of speaking English well or very well (91%), followed by those aged 15 to 24 years (89%) and those aged 45 years and over (85%).





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