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The Australian National University

Indigenous Language Usage

Abstract

This paper analyses data on those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australians who reported in the 2006 and 2011 Censuses of Population and Housing that they spoke an Indigenous language at home. The analysis shows an increase in the number of Indigenous language speakers from 51,990 in 2006 to 60,550 in 2011. However, as the number of people identified as being Indigenous also increased over the last intercensal period, there was in fact a small decline in the percentage of the relevant population speaking an Indigenous language-from 12.1 per cent to 11.6 per cent. The paper also looks at the geographic and demographic distribution of Indigenous language usage.

Note that a spreadsheet [.csv file] mentioned in the paper is also available for downloading.

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