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Media release –

2011 Census shows Asian languages on the rise in Australian households

21 June 2012 | CO/60

The latest Census of Population and Housing data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that more than 300 different languages are spoken in Australian households.

2011 Census data has revealed that 76.8 per cent of Australia’s population speak only English at home.

The most commonly spoken languages other than English include Mandarin (1.6 per cent), Italian (1.4 per cent), Arabic (1.3 per cent), Cantonese (1.2 per cent) and Greek (1.2 per cent)
Of recent migrants who arrived since 2006, 33.5 per cent speak only English at home and another 54.1 per cent speak another language and English either very well or well. Eleven and a half per cent do not speak English well or at all.

2011 Census Executive Director, Andrew Henderson, said the release of 2011 Census data provides a great opportunity for all Australians to understand the diverse nature of their country.

“Census data provides a valuable insight into the diverse cultural landscape that makes up Australia,” Mr Henderson said.

“This data will help shape the future of our country over the next five years, providing a brighter future for all Australians.”

Mr Henderson also thanked multicultural communities for their support of the Census.
“Australia is a world leader in Census taking, and the 2011 results show that 98.3 per cent of population participated in the Census,” Mr Henderson said.

“Multicultural communities across Australia played an overwhelming part in the success of the Census, recognising its valuable role in our everyday lives.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their participation, and in return I encourage everyone to make use of Australia’s richest source of statistical information.

“Census data is available free online and can be used for a variety of purposes. Our range of new, easy-to-use tools, including QuickStats, makes searching Census data quick and easy.”

Data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing is now available on the ABS website. Visit

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