4713.0 - Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/05/2010  Final
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Contents >> Language and religion >> Proficiency in English


Proficiency in English is self-assessed in the Census so actual competency may vary widely among those who report the same level of proficiency.

Overall, 79% of Indigenous language speakers reported speaking English well or very well. Almost one in five (19%) of Indigenous language speakers reported that they do not speak English well or at all. Approximately 90% of Indigenous language speakers in Major Cities, Inner Regional and Outer Regional areas reported speaking English well or very well. This compares with 83% and 76% in Remote and Very Remote areas, respectively.

Indigenous language speakers in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (93%) reported the highest rate of speaking English well or very well, followed by Tasmania and Victoria (91%). The majority of the Indigenous population in these states and territory live in urban areas. In comparison, the remaining states and territory all have a larger Indigenous population in remote areas and had a lower proportion of Indigenous language speakers that also speak English well or very well (Western Australia 85%, Queensland 83%, South Australia 80% and Northern Territory 75%).

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