You might be surprised to know that one in five people in Australia speak a language other than English at home. In fact, you receive 5 points for skilled migration if you speak one of Australia’s community languages.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)(www.abs.gov.au), 80.7 per cent of people aged five and over, speak only English. Around two per cent of people don’t speak any English at all.
Mandarin is the most common community language; spoken by 1.7 per cent of the Australian population, or 320,000 people. Other commonly spoken languages are Italian (1.5%), Arabic (1.4%), Cantonese (1.3%) and Greek (1.3%).
Among newly arrived migrants (since 2007), 67 per cent speak a language other than English at home. In the 2011 Australian Census, 43 per cent of this group said they could speak English “very well.”
Apart from English (32.6%), the most popular languages spoken by newly arrived migrants are Mandarin (10.8%), Punjabi (3.7%), Hindi (3.3%), and Arabic (3.0%).
These are the most common community languages in Australia: