Population Demographics


What percentage of people in NSW was born overseas?

The percentage of people born overseas from was 2,170,196 or 31% of the NSW population (ABS Census 2011).

Which are the largest multicultural communities in NSW?

The five highest ranking CALD population groups in NSW by language spoken at home are: Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Greek speaking communities (in order of priority) (ABS Census 2011).
The top five countries of birth in NSW (non-English speaking country) are: China (excludes SARs and Taiwan), India, Vietnam, Philippines, Lebanon (ABS Census 2011).

How many people speak a language other than English at home?

1,904,313 people or 27.5% of the NSW population speak a language other than English at home. There were 1,702,506 people or 26% of the NSW population who spoke a language other than English in the 2006 Census. This represents an additional 201,807 or 2.5% increase in the population that speak a language other than English at home. (ABS Census 2011 and 2006).

What are the top 10 most common languages other than English spoken in NSW?

The top 10 languages other than English spoken in NSW are: Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Korean and Tagalog (Filipino) (ABS Census 2011)

What percentage of people in NSW has low English proficiency?

There are 3.93% of the NSW population that speak English not well or not all (ABS Census 2011)

Which Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) groups have the lowest English language proficiency (ELP) in NSW?

The five highest ranking Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) population groups in NSW with low ELP (in order of priority and weighted by size of population and % with Low ELP) is:

  • Vietnamese (28% of the Vietnamese speaking population indicated they speak English not well or not at all);
  • Korean (28% of the Korean speaking population indicated they speak English not well or not at all);
  • Thai (20% of the Thai speaking population indicated they speak English not well or not at all);
  • Lao (19% of the Lao speaking population indicated they speak English not well or not at all);
  • Burmese (19% of the Burmese speaking population indicated they speak English not well or not at all).

(ABS Census 2011)

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Health Statistics


What is the health status of people from CALD communities in NSW?
Overseas-born people generally have good health. This reflects the 'healthy migrant effect', whereby people in good health are more likely to meet eligibility criteria, and to be willing and economically able to migrate.
However, certain diseases and health risk factors are more prevalent among some country-of-birth groups. This reflects diverse social, economic, environmental, cultural, and genetic influences.
Compared with the Australian-born, people born in some overseas countries have high rates of:

  • self-reported current smoking (people born in Lebanon)
  • self-reported overweight and obesity (males born in Lebanon; females born in Italy, Lebanon and Greece)
  • self-reported diabetes (people born in Italy, Greece, Germany, Lebanon and United Kingdom) and of hospitalisation for diabetes or its complications (people born in Lebanon and the Philippines)
  • hospitalisation for coronary heart disease (Fiji, Lebanon, Iraq and Sri Lanka) and cardiac revascularisation procedures (Fiji, Lebanon, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Greece, Indonesia, India, and Italy)
  • tuberculosis (India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Fiji and Malaysia)
  • self-reported psychological distress (people born in Lebanon and Greece).

Compared with the Australian-born, people born in some overseas countries:

  • are more likely to have premature babies (mothers born in Italy, Fiji, the Philippines and New Zealand)
  • are less likely to have their first antenatal visit before 20 weeks gestation (mothers born in Lebanon, New Zealand, Fiji, Iraq, Pakistan, Korea, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines)

(Report of the NSW Chief Health Officer 2010)

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Community Profiles


MHCS has developed community profiles for specific CALD populations.
Other useful sites include:

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