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Sydney's Linguistic Diversity

Challenge

"Language is incredibly important because it becomes the connection to the old ways," says University of Melbourne language professor Joseph Lo Bianco.
Researchers found it difficult to assess the distribution of languages spoken because not every ethnic group gives language the same importance due to factors such as migration drivers and conditions, the socio-political environment of a new country, and marriage between folks who come from different native language groups.

"For each culture, you’ve got to make an investigation into the history and...each history is unique," says adjunct associate professor Uldis Ozolins from the University of Western Sydney.

Solution

To investigate this history, researchers mapped the top non-English languages, English density, and linguistic diversity of Sydney citizens. They found that out of over the 250 languages spoken in Sydney, nearly 40 percent of residents speak a non-English language at home. Arabic, which dominates the western suburbs, is the most widely spoken non-English language, with Mandarin and Cantonese being the next most common.

Using the CARTO choropleth breakdown, researchers were also able to determine that language groups in Sydney are more concentrated than in Melbourne, Australia's other great home to migrants.

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