Notes on the data: Birthplace & Non-English speaking residents

People born in predominantly non-English speaking countries, 2016


Policy context:  In the 2016 Census, 4,200,633 people (17.9% of the total population) were born in countries referred to as predominantly non-English speaking [1]. Country of birth groups which increased the most between 2001 and 2011 were India (up 200,000 people), China (176,200) and New Zealand (127,700). The largest decreases were seen in the birth countries of Italy (less 33,300 people), Greece (16,500) and Poland (9,400). These decreases can be attributed to deaths and low current migration levels replenishing these groups [1].


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Cultural diversity in Australia - Reflecting Australia: Stories from the Census, 2016. (ABS Cat. no. 2071.0). Canberra: ABS; 2017 [accessed 10 August 2017]. Available from:

Notes:  The data comprise people born in 'predominantly non-English speaking countries' which comprise all but the following overseas countries, designated as 'English speaking': Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The numerator excludes the 6.9% of the population (this percentage varies across States/Territories) who did not provide their country of birth: however, these records are included in the denominator.


Geography:   Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Remoteness Area


Numerator:  People born in predominantly non-English speaking countries


Denominator:  Total population


Detail of analysis:  Percent


Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census of Population and Housing, August 2016


© PHIDU, Torrens University Australia This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia licence.