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Punjabi fastest growing language in Australia

Almost 40% of the Punjabi speakers live in Victoria, according to the 2016 census data released last week. The majority of Punjabis in Australia are below 35 years of age.

punjab Updated: Jul 09, 2017 09:34 IST
Manpreet K Singh
More than four out of five Punjabi speakers in Australia practice the Sikh faith with 108,276 people who declared they spoke Punjabi at home, also saying they follow Sikhism
More than four out of five Punjabi speakers in Australia practice the Sikh faith with 108,276 people who declared they spoke Punjabi at home, also saying they follow Sikhism(HT File)

The latest census data points to a five-fold growth in the number of Punjabi speakers in Australia in the last 10 years. There are now 132,499 Punjabi speakers in Australia, as compared to 71,230 in 2011 and 26,000 in 2006.

Almost 40% of the Punjabi speakers live in Victoria, according to the 2016 census data released last week. The majority of Punjabis in Australia are below 35 years of age.

More than 40% of Punjabi men and women in Australia are aged between 25 and 34 with 29,810 men and 24,700 women falling in this age bracket. However, men largely outnumber women in the Punjabi community, which is unlike the Australian average.

More than four out of five Punjabi speakers in Australia practice the Sikh faith with 108,276 people who declared they spoke Punjabi at home, also saying they follow Sikhism. Around 12.7% Punjabi speakers are from the Hindu religion while 1.1% are Muslims, which adds up to 16,546 and 1,495 Punjabi speakers of these two religions.

The sharp rise in the number of Punjabi speakers in Australia is closely associated with with Sikhism emerging as the fastest growing religion of the nation.

From India, Australia, Pak and Malaysia

About one lakh Punjabi speakers—78% of their population—were born in India, which is a similar proportion reported in 2011 as well. Next comes Australia-born Punjabi speakers with 22,808 people saying they were born in Australia and speak Punjabi at home. This group may correspond to children of first generation migrants, who speak Punjabi at home. A total of 1192 people born in Pakistan declared they were Punjabi speakers; a similar number (1163) from Malaysia also said they spoke Punjabi.

Find out more about the Punjabi speakers of Australia, here