NSW is the most diverse state in Australia. The demographic information below highlights the diversity of the NSW population. 


Languages Spoken in NSW


There are 290 different languages spoken by people living in NSW.  A quarter of the NSW population speak a language other than English at home. The top five languages other than English spoken across the state are Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Greek.

Top ten languages other than English spoken in NSW
 Language Number of people Percentage
 Mandarin  239,947 3.2%
 Arabic 200,828 2.7%
 Cantonese 143,338 1.9%
 Vietnamese 102,896 1.4%
 Greek 81,685 1.1%
 Italian 75,697 1%
 Hindi 67,037 0.9%
 Spanish  63,523 0.8%
 Korean 59,914 0.8%
 Tagalog 45,133 0.6%
 Total speaking language other than English  1,882,015 25.16%


Country of Birth


More than a quarter (27.6%) of people living in NSW were born outside of Australia.  The top five countries of birth apart from Australia were China, England, India, New Zealand and the Philippines. Around 22% of the population of NSW was born in countries where English is not the main language spoken.

Top ten countries of birth other than Australia in NSW
 Country Number of people Percentage
 China 234,506 3.1%
 England 226,561 3%
 India 143,459 1.9%
 New Zealand 117,138 1.6%
 Philippines 86,752 1.2%
 Vietnam 84,129 1.1%
 Lebanon  57,375 0.8%
 Korea, South 51,817 0.7%
 Italy 49,474 0.7%
 South Africa 43,059 0.6%
 Total born outside Australia 2,072,454  27.6%

Statistics presented here are derived from: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Census of Population and Housing 2016 Table Builder. Available at: http://abs.gov.au/websitedbs/D3310114.nsf/Home/2016%20TableBuilder

For further information download our NSW Demographic Fact sheet (Pdf 334.24KB)

Detailed community profiles are available from Multicultural NSW