Australia is renowned for its cultural and linguistic diversity, but just how linguistically diverse are we?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) 2016 Census data shows that there are currently approximately 426 different languages spoken at home in Australia. This compares to 418 languages spoken at home in the 2011 Census.
More impressively, there were over 900,000 more people who identified as speaking a language other than English at home than did in 2011; 4,871,646 compared to 3,912,935 in 2011.
Below we can see the growing diversity of languages spoken by each state:
Number of languages spoken at home by state/territory
Although NSW and Victoria are well known for their diverse immigrant and first generation Australian populations, it is actually Queensland that sees the greatest diversity of languages in the country, followed by Western Australia.
This is a useful reminder to all businesses and organisations of the importance of engagement with diverse groups in your community. It will be interesting to see how Australia’s multiculturalism continues to flourish in five years’ time, and how we all adapt to this growing diversity.