New South Wales and Sydney are rich in cultural and linguistic diversity. Results from the latest census in 2011 show that:
- Over 1.5 million people, or 22% of NSW residents, reported speaking a language other than English at home, with more than 90% of these people located in Sydney.
- One-third of people living in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan area speak a non-English language at home.
- Almost 40% of Australian residents who speak a language other than English at home reside in NSW.
- Besides English, the most commonly spoken languages in the state are Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin and other dialects), Arabic, Italian, Greek and Vietnamese.
- European languages are prominent in the state as a result of cultural and historic links to Europe, and Asian languages have flourished due to higher levels of immigration from Asia.
Sydney's availability of foreign-language speakers, particularly its abundance of Asian- language speakers, has proven to be a desirable factor for global firms wishing to establish regional operations hubs or Asia Pacific customer service centres.
Many of these foreign-language speakers are also highly qualified, with a significant number having attained tertiary qualifications.
|Speaks English only||5,013,343||2,732,446||3,874,863||3,675,958|
|Speaks a non-English language:||1,554,331||1,425,535||1,235,435||423,843|
% of Aust
|Speaks English only||3,945,126||16,509,290||30.4|
|Speaks a non-English language:||699,330||3,912,939||39.7|
1. Numbers of people who speak a language other than English at home based on place of usual residence.
Source: ABS, 2011 Census of Population and Housing.