Ahead of Tuesday’s 2016 Census stage one release, Cadreon and IDENTITY Communications have collaborated to predict Australia’s total population and the top 10 languages, other than English, spoken in the country. How close will we get to #Census2016 figures?

The industry has been hanging out for the release of the 2016 Census.  The last one was in 2011 and multicultural marketing agencies have been relying on data that is five years old.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the 2016 Census will be released in three stages:

  • April 11: A preview of results and giving insight into what makes the ‘typical’ Australian at the national and state/territory level.
  • June 27: This comprehensive dataset will include national, state/territory and capital city data for selected key person, family and dwelling characteristics, including age, sex, religion, language and income.
  • October: Detailed Census data on employment, qualifications and population mobility (journey to work and previous address).

We know Australia’s diversity has changed dramatically between the last two Censuses. Rather than waiting, we partnered with IPG Mediabrands sister agency, Cadreon to forecast the total Australian population and the top 10 languages, other than English, spoken in Australia. Cadreon is a leading data and analytics agency with the expertise to build forecast models. IDENTITY brings multicultural community expertise.

The result is shown in the infographic below, which illustrates the changing face of Australia.

IDENTITY Top 10 languages spoken in Australia

The 2016 Forecast


The key takeouts?

  • Over 1 million people in Australia speak Chinese, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Wu, Min Nan and others.
  • Mandarin and Cantonese are the top 2 languages, other than English spoken in Australia.
  • Italian drops from 2nd to 4th most spoken language, Greek from 5th to 6th, reflecting the ageing population of post war European migrants and the relative decline in migration from this region.
  • Filipino/Tagalog is the fastest growing of the top 10 language groups in Australia, growing by 97%.
  • Korea comes into the top 10 for the first time

We’ve used the new forecast to update our recent infographic about the Chinese community in Australia below.

IDENTITY Chinese infographic APRIL 2017

About our forecast model

We started with the 2011 Census and added net monthly long term arrival figures from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for the months between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses. Monthly data provides a richer data set and also reflects seasonality. We also factored in the birth and death rates. It might sound easy, but I’ve seen Cadreon’s forecast model, lift up the hood and it’s mighty complicated!

How close we’ll get, we’ll find out as 2016 Census data is progressively released.

But I’ve gotta say, we had a lot of fun and the forecast team is as multicultural as the data set; the model was built by clever Cadreon peeps from Italian and Greek backgrounds, the data came from our team made up of Australians from Chinese, Chinese-Indonesian and Vietnamese backgrounds. You couldn’t get more multicultural and collaborative than that!

Find out more…

Got questions? Want to know more about this model and other intelligent IDENTITY tools? Interested in communicating with Australia’s growing diverse consumers? Contact us.

NB: Updated forecasts with revised figures on 19 April 2017.