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Most-spoken languages other than English in Australian electorates

(Update 22 May: I now have a map of languages at the suburb level!.)

Earlier this week, Ben Blatt published some maps of the US on Slate, showing the most commonly spoken language other than English in each state (and more). Mumble then tweeted a link to his equivalent tables for Australia, dividing the nation into electorates, and using data from the 2011 Census. In this post I've taken the data from Mumble's tables to create maps similar to the ones in the Slate article. Colours were chosen by the QGIS random number generator.

Update 19 May: @ALXGriffiths tweeted at me and Mumble, saying that some of the data looked wrong. This was indeed the case; I hadn't checked Mumble's numbers, and Mumble had no reason to think that his data source was incomplete (I haven't worked out exactly what happened, but the ABS provides summary spreadsheets for each electorate, and sometimes lumps in the most commonly-spoken non-English language into "Other"), but 14 of the 150 electorates had the wrong language listed. As a result, I've updated the maps below. Unfortunately the newly-randomised QGIS colour scheme isn't the best – there are a few too many shades of blue. I'm too lazy to fix this, since I'm trying to work on a map showing languages at the suburb level, which will show a lot more detail.

People who saw the original map will notice that the Indigenous languages are no longer grouped together as one. This change is appropriate, but it does mean that the new map doesn't show how widely spoken these languages are. In particular, Lingiari (Northern Territory) has about 30% of its population speaking an Indigenous language at home, but the map below shows only Kriol at 3.5%.








Posted 2014-05-17; updated 2014-05-19.

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