A recent news report by Xinhua said that according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), “the number of people who speak a language other than English at home has increased by 10 percent during a five-year period.”
The figure is released in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2008 Year Book, and it says:
16 percent of Australians – or 3.1 million – speak a language other than English at home, which represent a 10 percent rise from the 2001 Census to the 2006 Census.
The most-commonly spoken languages were Italian, Greek, Arabic, Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin) and Vietnamese.
Indigenous Australians – who speak a native language at home – represent 11 percent of people who speak a language other than English at home. Of these people more than 50 percent reside in the Northern Territory.