2901.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016  
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2016 Census Dictionary >> Glossary >> Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL)


Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL)

The Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) has been used to code Language Spoken at Home (LANP) since the 1996 Census. The 2016 Census uses the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL), 2016 (cat. no. 1267.0), which incorporates the results of a minor review conducted prior to that Census.

In the ASCL, languages are grouped into progressively broader categories on the basis of their evolution from a common ancestral language (linguistic similarity) and the geographic proximity of areas where particular languages originated. This allows populations of language speakers who are similar in terms of their ethnic and cultural characteristics to be grouped in analytically useful ways.

The first edition of the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) was published in 1997 to meet a growing statistical and administrative need for a properly developed and formulated classification of languages. The ASCL was intended for use in the collection, aggregation and dissemination of data relating to the language use of the Australian population, or subsets of the population. Since its publication, the ASCL has been widely used both within the ABS and by other organisations.

For more information refer to the
Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL), 2016 (cat. no. 1267.0).

See also Language Spoken at Home (LANP).




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