Latest release

Language used at home (LANP)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable identifies whether a person uses a language other than English at home and if so, records the main non-English language which is used. The purpose of this variable is to identify the main languages other than English which are used in households across Australia.

Scope

All persons

Categories

Language used at home (LANP) is classified using the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL), 2016. The categories are listed in groups below. The full list is available from the Data downloads on this page.

1 Northern European Languages

 1Northern European Languages  
  10Northern European Languages, nfd 
    1000Northern European Languages, nfd
  11Celtic   
    1100Celtic, nfd
    1101Gaelic (Scotland)
    1102Irish
    1103Welsh
    1199Celtic, nec
  12English   
    1201English
  13German and Related Languages 
    1300German and Related Languages, nfd
    1301German
    1302Letzeburgish
    1303Yiddish
  14Dutch and Related Languages 
    1400Dutch and Related Languages, nfd
    1401Dutch
    1402Frisian
    1403Afrikaans
  15Scandinavian   
    1500Scandinavian, nfd
    1501Danish
    1502Icelandic
    1503Norwegian
    1504Swedish
    1599Scandinavian, nec
  16Finnish and Related Languages 
    1600Finnish and Related Languages, nfd
    1601Estonian
    1602Finnish
    1699Finnish and Related Languages, nec

2 Southern European Languages

 2Southern European Languages  
  20Southern European Languages, nfd 
    2000Southern European Languages, nfd
  21French   
    2101French
  22Greek   
    2201Greek
  23Iberian Romance  
    2300Iberian Romance, nfd
    2301Catalan
    2302Portuguese
    2303Spanish
    2399Iberian Romance, nec
  24Italian   
    2401Italian
  25Maltese   
    2501Maltese
  29Other Southern European Languages
    2900Other Southern European Languages, nfd
    2901Basque
    2902Latin
    2999Other Southern European Languages, nec

3 Eastern European Languages

 3Eastern European Languages   
  30Eastern European Languages, nfd 
    3000Eastern European Languages, nfd
  31Baltic   
    3100Baltic, nfd
    3101Latvian
    3102Lithuanian
  33Hungarian   
    3301Hungarian
  34East Slavic   
    3400East Slavic, nfd
    3401Belorussian
    3402Russian
    3403Ukrainian
  35South Slavic   
    3500South Slavic, nfd
    3501Bosnian
    3502Bulgarian
    3503Croatian
    3504Macedonian
    3505Serbian
    3506Slovene
    3507Serbo-Croatian/Yugoslavian, so described
  36West Slavic   
    3600West Slavic, nfd
    3601Czech
    3602Polish
    3603Slovak
    3604Czechoslovakian, so described
  39Other Eastern European Languages 
    3900Other Eastern European Languages, nfd
    3901Albanian
    3903Aromunian (Macedo-Romanian)
    3904Romanian
    3905Romany
    3999Other Eastern European Languages, nec

4 Southwest and Central Asian Languages

 4Southwest and Central Asian Languages  
  40Southwest and Central Asian Languages, nfd
    4000Southwest and Central Asian Languages, nfd
  41Iranic   
    4100Iranic, nfd
    4101Kurdish
    4102Pashto
    4104Balochi
    4105Dari
    4106Persian (excluding Dari)
    4107Hazaraghi
    4199Iranic, nec
  42Middle Eastern Semitic Languages 
    4200Middle Eastern Semitic Languages, nfd
    4202Arabic
    4204Hebrew
    4206Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
    4207Chaldean Neo-Aramaic
    4208Mandaean (Mandaic)
    4299Middle Eastern Semitic Languages, nec
  43Turkic   
    4300Turkic, nfd
    4301Turkish
    4302Azeri
    4303Tatar
    4304Turkmen
    4305Uygur
    4306Uzbek
    4399Turkic, nec
  49Other Southwest and Central Asian Languages
    4900Other Southwest and Central Asian Languages, nfd
    4901Armenian
    4902Georgian
    4999Other Southwest and Central Asian Languages, nec

5 Southern Asian Languages

 5Southern Asian Languages   
  50Southern Asian Languages, nfd 
    5000Southern Asian Languages, nfd
  51Dravidian   
    5100Dravidian, nfd
    5101Kannada
    5102Malayalam
    5103Tamil
    5104Telugu
    5105Tulu
    5199Dravidian, nec
  52Indo-Aryan   
    5200Indo-Aryan, nfd
    5201Bengali
    5202Gujarati
    5203Hindi
    5204Konkani
    5205Marathi
    5206Nepali
    5207Punjabi
    5208Sindhi
    5211Sinhalese
    5212Urdu
    5213Assamese
    5214Dhivehi
    5215Kashmiri
    5216Oriya
    5217Fijian Hindustani
    5299Indo-Aryan, nec
  59Other Southern Asian Languages 
    5999Other Southern Asian Languages

6 Southeast Asian Languages

 6Southeast Asian Languages   
  60Southeast Asian Languages, nfd 
    6000Southeast Asian Languages, nfd
  61Burmese and Related Languages 
    6100Burmese and Related Languages, nfd
    6101Burmese
    6102Chin Haka
    6103Karen
    6104Rohingya
    6105Zomi
    6199Burmese and Related Languages, nec
  62Hmong-Mien   
    6200Hmong-Mien, nfd
    6201Hmong
    6299Hmong-Mien, nec
  63Mon-Khmer   
    6300Mon-Khmer, nfd
    6301Khmer
    6302Vietnamese
    6303Mon
    6399Mon-Khmer, nec
  64Tai   
    6400Tai, nfd
    6401Lao
    6402Thai
    6499Tai, nec
  65Southeast Asian Austronesian Languages
    6500Southeast Asian Austronesian Languages, nfd
    6501Bisaya
    6502Cebuano
    6503Ilokano
    6504Indonesian
    6505Malay
    6507Tetum
    6508Timorese
    6511Tagalog
    6512Filipino
    6513Acehnese
    6514Balinese
    6515Bikol
    6516Iban
    6517Ilonggo (Hiligaynon)
    6518Javanese
    6521Pampangan
    6599Southeast Asian Austronesian Languages, nec
  69Other Southeast Asian Languages 
    6999Other Southeast Asian Languages

7 Eastern Asian Languages

 7Eastern Asian Languages   
  70Eastern Asian Languages, nfd 
    7000Eastern Asian Languages, nfd
  71Chinese   
    7100Chinese, nfd
    7101Cantonese
    7102Hakka
    7104Mandarin
    7106Wu
    7107Min Nan
    7199Chinese, nec
  72Japanese   
    7201Japanese
  73Korean   
    7301Korean
  79Other Eastern Asian Languages 
    7900Other Eastern Asian Languages, nfd
    7901Tibetan
    7902Mongolian
    7999Other Eastern Asian Languages, nec

8 Australian Indigenous Languages

 8Australian Indigenous Languages  
  80Australian Indigenous Languages, nfd
    8000Australian Indigenous Languages, nfd
  81Arnhem Land and Daly River Region Languages
    8100Arnhem Land and Daly River Region Languages, nfd
    8101Anindilyakwa
    8111Maung
    8113Ngan'gikurunggurr
    8114Nunggubuyu
    8115Rembarrnga
    8117Tiwi
    8121Alawa
    8122Dalabon
    8123Gudanji
    8127Iwaidja
    8128Jaminjung
    8131Jawoyn
    8132Jingulu
    8133Kunbarlang
    8136Larrakiya
    8137Malak Malak
    8138Mangarrayi
    8141Maringarr
    8142Marra
    8143Marrithiyel
    8144Matngala
    8146Murrinh Patha
    8147Na-kara
    8148Ndjebbana (Gunavidji)
    8151Ngalakgan
    8152Ngaliwurru
    8153Nungali
    8154Wambaya
    8155Wardaman
    8156Amurdak
    8157Garrwa
    8158Kuwema
    8161Marramaninyshi
    8162Ngandi
    8163Waanyi
    8164Wagiman
    8165Yanyuwa
    8166Marridan (Maridan)
  817Kunwinjkuan 
    8170Kunwinjkuan, nfd
    8171Gundjeihmi
    8172Kune
    8173Kuninjku
    8174Kunwinjku
    8175Mayali
    8179Kunwinjkuan, nec
  818Burarran  
    8180Burarran, nfd
    8181Burarra
    8182Gun-nartpa
    8183Gurr-goni
    8189Burarran, nec
    8199Arnhem Land and Daly River Region Languages, nec
  82Yolngu Matha   
    8200Yolngu Matha, nfd
  821Dhangu  
    8210Dhangu, nfd
    8211Galpu
    8212Golumala
    8213Wangurri
    8219Dhangu, nec
  822Dhay'yi  
    8220Dhay'yi, nfd
    8221Dhalwangu
    8222Djarrwark
    8229Dhay'yi, nec
  823Dhuwal  
    8230Dhuwal, nfd
    8231Djambarrpuyngu
    8232Djapu
    8233Daatiwuy
    8234Marrangu
    8235Liyagalawumirr
    8236Liyagawumirr
    8239Dhuwal, nec
  824Dhuwala  
    8240Dhuwala, nfd
    8242Gumatj
    8243Gupapuyngu
    8244Guyamirrilili
    8246Manggalili
    8247Wubulkarra
    8249Dhuwala, nec
  825Djinang  
    8250Djinang, nfd
    8251Wurlaki
    8259Djinang, nec
  826Djinba  
    8260Djinba, nfd
    8261Ganalbingu
    8262Djinba
    8263Manyjalpingu
    8269Djinba, nec
  827Yakuy  
    8270Yakuy, nfd
    8271Ritharrngu
    8272Wagilak
    8279Yakuy, nec
  828Nhangu  
    8281Nhangu
    8282Yan-nhangu
    8289Nhangu, nec
  829Other Yolngu Matha 
    8291Dhuwaya
    8292Djangu
    8293Madarrpa
    8294Warramiri
    8295Rirratjingu
    8299Other Yolngu Matha, nec
  83Cape York Peninsula Languages 
    8300Cape York Peninsula Languages, nfd
    8301Kuku Yalanji
    8302Guugu Yimidhirr
    8303Kuuku-Ya'u
    8304Wik Mungkan
    8305Djabugay
    8306Dyirbal
    8307Girramay
    8308Koko-Bera
    8311Kuuk Thayorre
    8312Lamalama
    8313Yidiny
    8314Wik Ngathan
    8315Alngith
    8316Kugu Muminh
    8317Morrobalama
    8318Thaynakwith
    8321Yupangathi
    8322Tjungundji
    8399Cape York Peninsula Languages, nec
  84Torres Strait Island Languages 
    8400Torres Strait Island Languages, nfd
    8401Kalaw Kawaw Ya/Kalaw Lagaw Ya
    8402Meriam Mir
    8403Yumplatok (Torres Strait Creole)
  85Northern Desert Fringe Area Languages
    8500Northern Desert Fringe Area Languages, nfd
    8504Bilinarra
    8505Gurindji
    8506Gurindji Kriol
    8507Jaru
    8508Light Warlpiri
    8511Malngin
    8512Mudburra
    8514Ngardi
    8515Ngarinyman
    8516Walmajarri
    8517Wanyjirra
    8518Warlmanpa
    8521Warlpiri
    8522Warumungu
    8599Northern Desert Fringe Area Languages, nec
  86Arandic   
    8600Arandic, nfd
    8603Alyawarr
    8606Kaytetye
    8607Antekerrepenh
  861Anmatyerr  
    8610Anmatyerr, nfd
    8611Central Anmatyerr
    8612Eastern Anmatyerr
    8619Anmatyerr, nec
  862Arrernte  
    8620Arrernte, nfd
    8621Eastern Arrernte
    8622Western Arrarnta
    8629Arrernte, nec
    8699Arandic, nec
  87Western Desert Languages  
    8700Western Desert Languages, nfd
    8703Antikarinya
    8704Kartujarra
    8705Kukatha
    8706Kukatja
    8707Luritja
    8708Manyjilyjarra
    8711Martu Wangka
    8712Ngaanyatjarra
    8713Pintupi
    8714Pitjantjatjara
    8715Wangkajunga
    8716Wangkatha
    8717Warnman
    8718Yankunytjatjara
    8721Yulparija
    8722Tjupany
    8799Western Desert Languages, nec
  88Kimberley Area Languages  
    8800Kimberley Area Languages, nfd
    8801Bardi
    8802Bunuba
    8803Gooniyandi
    8804Miriwoong
    8805Ngarinyin
    8806Nyikina
    8807Worla
    8808Worrorra
    8811Wunambal
    8812Yawuru
    8813Gambera
    8814Jawi
    8815Kija
    8899Kimberley Area Languages, nec
  89Other Australian Indigenous Languages
    8900Other Australian Indigenous Languages, nfd
    8901Adnymathanha
    8902Arabana
    8903Bandjalang
    8904Banyjima
    8905Batjala
    8906Bidjara
    8907Dhanggatti
    8908Diyari
    8911Gamilaraay
    8913Garuwali
    8914Githabul
    8915Gumbaynggir
    8916Kanai
    8917Karajarri
    8918Kariyarra
    8921Kaurna
    8922Kayardild
    8924Kriol
    8925Lardil
    8926Mangala
    8927Muruwari
    8928Narungga
    8931Ngarluma
    8932Ngarrindjeri
    8933Nyamal
    8934Nyangumarta
    8935Nyungar
    8936Paakantyi
    8937Palyku/Nyiyaparli
    8938Wajarri
    8941Wiradjuri
    8943Yindjibarndi
    8944Yinhawangka
    8945Yorta Yorta
    8946Baanbay
    8947Badimaya
    8948Barababaraba
    8951Dadi Dadi
    8952Dharawal
    8953Djabwurrung
    8954Gudjal
    8955Keerray-Woorroong
    8956Ladji Ladji
    8957Mirning
    8958Ngatjumaya
    8961Waluwarra
    8962Wangkangurru
    8963Wargamay
    8964Wergaia
    8965Yugambeh
    8998Aboriginal English, so described
    8999Other Australian Indigenous Languages, nec

 

 

9 Other Languages

 9Other Languages   
  90Other Languages, nfd  
    9000Other Languages, nfd
  91American Languages  
    9101American Languages
  92African Languages  
    9200African Languages, nfd
    9201Acholi
    9203Akan
    9205Mauritian Creole
    9206Oromo
    9207Shona
    9208Somali
    9211Swahili
    9212Yoruba
    9213Zulu
    9214Amharic
    9215Bemba
    9216Dinka
    9217Ewe
    9218Ga
    9221Harari
    9222Hausa
    9223Igbo
    9224Kikuyu
    9225Krio
    9226Luganda
    9227Luo
    9228Ndebele
    9231Nuer
    9232Nyanja (Chichewa)
    9233Shilluk
    9234Tigre
    9235Tigrinya
    9236Tswana
    9237Xhosa
    9238Seychelles Creole
    9241Anuak
    9242Bari
    9243Bassa
    9244Dan (Gio-Dan)
    9245Fulfulde
    9246Kinyarwanda (Rwanda)
    9247Kirundi (Rundi)
    9248Kpelle
    9251Krahn
    9252Liberian (Liberian English)
    9253Loma (Lorma)
    9254Lumun (Kuku Lumun)
    9255Madi
    9256Mandinka
    9257Mann
    9258Moro (Nuba Moro)
    9261Themne
    9262Lingala
    9299African Languages, nec
  93Pacific Austronesian Languages 
    9300Pacific Austronesian Languages, nfd
    9301Fijian
    9302Gilbertese
    9303Maori (Cook Island)
    9304Maori (New Zealand)
    9306Nauruan
    9307Niue
    9308Samoan
    9311Tongan
    9312Rotuman
    9313Tokelauan
    9314Tuvaluan
    9315Yapese
    9399Pacific Austronesian Languages, nec
  94Oceanian Pidgins and Creoles  
    9400Oceanian Pidgins and Creoles, nfd
    9402Bislama
    9403Hawaiian English
    9404Norf'k-Pitcairn
    9405Solomon Islands Pijin
    9499Oceanian Pidgins and Creoles, nec
  95Papua New Guinea Languages 
    9500Papua New Guinea Languages, nfd
    9502Kiwai
    9503Motu (HiriMotu)
    9504Tok Pisin (Neomelanesian)
    9599Papua New Guinea Languages, nec
  96Invented Languages  
    9601Invented Languages
  97Sign Languages   
    9700Sign Languages, nfd
    9701Auslan
    9702Key Word Sign Australia
    9799Sign Languages, nec

 Supplementary codes 

0Supplementary codes   
 00Supplementary codes  
    0000Inadequately described
    0001Non-verbal, so described
    0003Swiss, so described
    0004Cypriot, so described
    0005Creole, nfd
    0006French Creole, nfd
    0007Spanish Creole, nfd
    0008Portuguese Creole, nfd
    0009Pidgin, nfd
&Not stated    
 &&Not stated   
    &&&&Not stated
VOverseas visitor   
 VVOverseas visitor  
    VVVVOverseas visitor

Number of categories:

  • One digit level: 12
  • Two digit level: 63
  • Three digit level: 63
  • Four digit level: 505

Question(s) from the Census form

Does the person use a language other than English at home?

    Does the person use a language other than English at home?
    Does Person 1 use a language other than English at home?

    If more than one language other than English, select the one that is used most often.

    Include use of sign languages (for example, AUSLAN) in the 'please specify' box.

    Include use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in the 'Yes, other (please specify)' box.

    More information

    Person's language at home

    No, English only

    Yes, Mandarin

    Yes, Arabic

    Yes, Cantonese

    Yes, Vietnamese

    Yes, Italian

    Yes, Greek

    Yes, other (please specify)

      Alternative response options - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

      Alternative response options to the question: Does the person use a language other than English at home? Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander option included.

      Alternative response options - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

      Does Person 2 use a language other than English at home?

      If more than one language other than English, select the one that is used most often.

      Include use of sign languages (for example, AUSLAN) in the 'please specify' box.

      More information

      Person's language at home

      No, English only

      Yes, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander language

      Yes, Mandarin

      Yes, Arabic

      Yes, Cantonese

      Yes, Vietnamese

      Yes, Italian

      Yes, Greek

      Yes, other (please specify)

        Example

        Example response to: Does the person use a language other than English at home? Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander option selected.

        Example

        Does Person 2 use a language other than English at home?

        If more than one language other than English, select the one that is used most often.

        Include use of sign languages (for example, AUSLAN) in the 'please specify' box.

        More information
        Person's language at home

        No, English only

        Yes, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander language
        Please specify (optional)

          More information

          Additional information relating to the question: Does the person use a language other than English at home?

          More information

          Does Person 1 use a language other than English at home?

          If more than one language other than English, select the one that is used most often.

          Include use of sign languages (for example, AUSLAN) in the 'please specify' box.

          Include use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in the 'Yes, other (please specify)' box.

          More information

          If the person uses only English at home, select ‘No, English only’, even if they can speak another language.

          If the person lives alone, answer with the language they most commonly use with visitors in their home.

          The languages listed were the most commonly reported languages spoken at home, other than English in the 2016 Census.

          For a language not listed, please select the 'Yes, other (please specify)' option and enter the name of the language in the box.

          For people who cannot speak, or if the person is too young to speak, record 'Not able to speak' in the 'Yes, other (please specify)' box for this question.

          How this variable is created

          This variable is created from responses to the language used at home question. Respondents may either use a mark box to indicate the language used at home or write the name of the language in the text field. When a person marks more than one language or marks a language and gives a text response, responses are accepted in the order they appeared on the form and the extra response is rejected.

          The majority of responses for LANP are captured automatically from the mark box response. Written responses are coded using a combination of automatic reading and coding processes. The remaining responses require manual coding processes when they could not be coded or derived automatically.

          If a response is not listed in the classification, it is coded to 'Inadequately described'.

          History and changes

          A question relating to languages spoken was first asked in the 1933 Census, but not again until the 1976 Census. All Censuses since then have included a similar question.

          In 1933, the question asked people who could not read and write in English but were able to read and write in a foreign language, to state that language. In 1976, people were asked for all languages spoken. In 1981 and 1986, all people were asked if they spoke a language other than English at home and, if so, how well they spoke English. In addition to this, since 1991 people have been asked to name their non-English language.

          In the 2021 Census, the question wording was amended to include the word 'use' rather than 'speak' to better accommodate members of the community who use sign language. 

          The response category order has changed based on the most common answers from the 2016 Census:

          • 'Yes, Italian' changed from 3rd to 6th position
          • 'Yes, Arabic' changed from 4th to 3rd position
          • 'Yes, Cantonese' changed from 5th to 4th position
          • 'Yes, Greek' changed from 6th to 7th position
          • 'Yes, Vietnamese' changed from 7th to 5th position

          An enhancement to the online form presented a check box for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander language for those respondents who identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in the Indigenous status question. To improve the data collected on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, the person also had the option of specifying the language.

          Data use considerations

          This question only allows for one answer and therefore the number of responses shown in the category '1201 English' is not all persons who use English, but specifically persons who use only English at home.

          Persons who report a language other than English to the 'language used at home' question are then asked 'How well does the person speak English?'. Responses to this question are coded to the variable Proficiency in spoken English (ENGLP).

          Related variables and glossary terms

          • Proficiency in spoken English (ENGLP)
          • Whether reported using an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander language at home (LNGP)
          • Indigenous Status (INGP)
          • Ethnicity

          Data downloads

          Language used at home classification