Language

How many Aboriginal language speakers are left?

An overview of the number of speakers for selected Aboriginal languages.

Aboriginal language speakers

The tables below gives the number of speakers for Aboriginal languages as recorded in the 2006 Census [1].

Note: Present figures may vary for several reasons:

  • Different criteria for speakerhood. Some Aboriginal people identify as a ‘speaker’ just because they belong to that language group and use some of its words in an overall context of speaking Aboriginal English.
  • Identifying with a language no longer spoken. Similarly, Aboriginal people might identify as a ‘speaker’ although the language is no longer spoken.
  • Not giving information. Some traditional language speakers might choose not to share information relating to their cultural language practices when responding to the census survey. More than 8% in the 2006 census gave no further details than “Australian Indigenous Language”. [3]
  • Language revitilisation projects. Language revitalisation and preservation programs can bring back formerly ‘extinct’ languages, so the current number of speakers is higher than the number reported in the census.

Fact There were more speakers of Polish, Macedonian and German in Australia in 2001 than speakers of Aboriginal languages. [2]

Click on the table headings to sort by name or number of speakers.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

LanguageNumber of speakers
Canberra language0
Gundungurra0
Ngarigu8
Ngunawal0
Walgalu0

New South Wales (NSW)

LanguageNumber of speakers
Awabakal0
Baanbay0
Badjiri0
Barababaraba0
Barranbinya1
Bidawal0
Bigambul0
Biriin0
Birpai0
Bulali0
Bundjalung95
Burrgadi0
Casino0
Dadi Dadi0
Darkinyung0
Dhanggati4
Dharamba0
Dharawal0
Dharug0
Dhurga0
Dinggabal0
Djirringany0
Enneewin0
Eora0
Galibal0
Gambalamam0
Gamilaraay37
Gathang0
Gawambaraay0
Geawegal0
Githabul20
Gumbaynggir33
Gundungerre0
Gundungurra0
Guringay0
Guyinbaraay0
Hawkesbury River-Broken Bay language0
Jabulajabula0
Jari Jari0
Jeithi0
Karenggapa0
Ku-ring-gai0
Kungakuri0
Kuntakuri0
Kureinji0
Kurnu0
Ladji Ladji0
Malyangapa0
Mambangura0
Manaldjahli0
Marawara0
Marbal0
Milpulo0
Minjungbal0
Muruwari3
Mutti Mutti / Muthi Muthi0
Naaualko0
Nari Nari0
Nerang Creek dialect0
Ngaku0
Ngambaa0
Nganduwal0
Nganyaywana0
Ngarabal0
Ngarahngwal0
Ngarbal0
Ngarigu8
Ngiyampaa4
Ngunawal0
Nuntukuri0
Nyangbal0
Paakantyi22
Paaruntyi0
Pantyikali0
Parrintyi0
Purukuri0
Southern Paakantyi0
Thangkaali0
Thawa0
Thinuntu0
Waalubal0
Wadi Wadi0
Wadigali0
Walbanga0
Walgalu0
Wangaaypuwan4
Wanyiwalku0
Wayilwan4
Wehlubal0
Weki Weki0
Wemba Wemba3
Widjabal0
Wilyakali0
Wiradjuri102
Wiriyaraay0
Wirraayaraay0
Wiyabal0
Wonnarua0
Worimi2
Yandruwandha0
Yardliyawara0
Yaygir2
Yirawirung0
Yitha Yitha0
Yorta Yorta21
Yugambal0
Yuungay0
Yuwaalaraay7
Yuwaalayaay0
Yuyu0

Northern Territory (NT)

LanguageNumber of speakers
Akarre0
Alawa12
Alyawarr1664
Amurdak0
Anindilyakwa1283
Anmatyerre1002
Antekerrepenh0
Arrernte2835
Balmbi0
Bararrngu0
Bararrpararr0
Bayimbarr0
Bilamandyi0
Bilinarra18
Binbinga0
Bindararr0
Bininj Gun-wok0
Birdingal0
Birrkili0
Bugurnidja0
Bularnu0
Bunanatjini0
Bural Bural0
Buralka0
Burarra0
Burarra1074
Burdinmanduwij0
Buwarpuwar0
Dabi0
Dagoman0
Dalabon15
Darmarmiri0
Datiwuy21
Dhalwangu53
Dhamarrangdji0
Dhangu276
Dhapuyngu0
Dhay’yi175
Dhaygurrgurr0
Dhidhani0
Dhuwal0
Dhuwala321
Dhuwaya326
Djadiwitjibi0
Djambarrpuyngu2766
Djangu0
Djapu46
Djarrwark0
Djimbilirri0
Djinang229
Djinba53
Durilji0
Eastern Gurindji0
Eastern Mudburra0
Eastern Ngarinyman0
Emmi0
Erre0
Gaagudju0
Galduyh0
Galpu167
Ganalbingu44
Garig0
Garmalangga0
Garrwa87
Gidjurra0
Giimbiyu0
Giwajbem0
Golpa0
Golumala6
Gonbudj0
Gulunggor0
Gumadir0
Gumatj236
Gumunggurdu0
Gun-narda0
Gun-narta0
Gun-nartpa6
Gundjeihmi7
Gunguluwala0
Gunindiri0
Gupapuyngu251
Gurdanji0
Gurindji592
Gurrgoni0
Gurrigurri0
Gurriyindi0
Guyamirrilili0
Guyula0
Ilgar0
Iwaidja134
Jaminjung12
Jawoyn42
Jingulu43
Jiyil0
Kamu0
Karrangpurru0
Kartangarurru0
Kaytetye145
Kerniyn’mi0
Kriol4213
Kukatja0
Kunbarlang19
Kundedjnjenghmi0
Kune40
Kungarakany0
Kuninjku88
Kunwinjku915
Kuwarranyji0
Kuwema0
Lamamirri0
Larrakia29
Lhetburrirt0
Limilngan0
Liyagalawumirr56
Liyagawumirr0
Lower Arrernte0
Luritja1480
Lurlmarangu0
Madarrpa0
Magati Ke0
Makarrwanhalmirr0
Malak Malak37
Malarbardjuradj0
Malarra0
Malngin9
Manadya / Manaidja0
Manangkarri0
Mangarrayi15
Manggalili5
Manggurra0
Manyarring0
Manyarring0
Manydjalpingu0
Maranunggu0
Mariyedi0
Marra58
Marrabanggu0
Marrakulu0
Marramaninyshi0
Marrangu11
Marranj0
Marranumbu0
Marrgu0
Marri Amu0
Marri Ngarr8
Marri Tjevin0
Marridan0
Marrithiyel6
Marungun0
Matngele0
Mawng261
Mayali173
Mengerrdji0
Menthe0
Mikiri-nganha0
Mildjingi0
Minginggiri0
Mudburra47
Mukngirru0
Munggurrpi0
Munyuku0
Murrinh-kura0
Murrinh-patha1832
Murrinhdiminin0
Nakkara51
Ndjebbana241
Ngaduk0
Ngaladu0
Ngalakgan3
Ngalarrunga0
Ngaliwurru117
Ngaliya0
Ngan’gikurunggurr182
Ngan’gimerri0
Ngan’gityemerri0
Ngan’giwumirri0
Ngandi9
Nganwirlang0
Ngardawuli0
Ngardilpa0
Ngarinyman354
Ngarla’mi0
Ngarnga0
Ngaymil0
Ngomburr0
Ngorrkgowo0
Ngurruwula0
Nhangu0
Nundjulbi / Nundyurrpi0
Nungali0
Nunggubuyu109
Nungudulpuy0
Nyekuymirri0
Nyiwanawu0
Patjtjamalh0
Pintupi203
Pitjantjatjara2657
Pungupungu0
Raijang0
Ralwia0
Rembarrnga38
Rirratjingu0
Ritharrngu32
Tiwi1716
Umbugarla0
Urningangk0
Urrirrk0
Uwinymil0
Waanyi0
Wadda0
Wagilak0
Wagiman0
Wakaya0
Wakirti Warlpiri0
Walamangu0
Walmapuy0
Walu0
Wambaya88
Wandangbag0
Wangkamanha0
Wangurri47
Wardaman89
Warlmanpa48
Warlpiri2507
Warnayaka0
Warndarrang0
Warramirri0
Warray0
Warrmarla0
Warumungu307
Wawulya0
Wenamba0
Western Desert Language0
Western Mudburra0
Wilingura0
Wora0
Wubulkarra7
Wulwulam0
Wuna0
Wurdang0
Wurlaki46
Wurlayi0
Wurrugu0
Wutjara0
Yan-nhangu7
Yangman0
Yanyuwa129
Yarlpiri0
Yiduwa0
Yugul0
Yunggor0

Queensland (QLD)

Gureng
LanguageNumber of speakers
Adithinngithigh0
Adyinuri0
Aghu-tharnggala0
Agwamin0
Alngith0
Alodja0
Alungul0
Andjingith0
Andooyomo0
Angkamuthi0
Angkula0
Anguthimri0
Antekerrepenh0
Areba0
Aritinngithigh0
Atampaya0
Awngthim0
Ayabadhu0
Ayerrerenge0
Badjiri0
Barada0
Barna0
Barrow Point0
Barunggam0
Bayali0
Bidjara0
Bidjara12
Bindal0
Biri4
Biyay0
Biyay0
Bularnu0
Buluguyban0
Bulway0
Bundjil0
Butchulla7
Buyibara0
China Camp0
Coastal Lamalama0
Coonambella0
Dalla0
Darumbal0
Dhalundhirr0
Dhidhani0
Dhiraila0
Djabugay28
Djagaraga0
Djagunda0
Djiru4
Doodj0
Dulgubarra Mamu1
Dungibara0
Duungidjawu0
Dyirbal0
Dyirribarra Mamu1
Flinders Island Language0
Gabalbara0
Galibal0
Gambilbarra Dyirrbal0
Gambuwal0
Ganggalida4
Gangulu0
Ganulu0
Garendala0
Garingbal0
Garumngar0
Gawambaraay0
Gayiri0
Geynyan0
Giabal0
Girramay28
Giya0
Goeng Goeng0
Gubbi Gubbi4
Gudabal0
Gudang0
Gudjal5
Gugu Badhun4
Gugu Bididji0
Gugu Buyunji0
Gugu Dhaw0
Gugu Djangun0
Gugu Gai Gai0
Gugu Gulunggur0
Gugu Mini0
Gugu Nyiguudyi0
Gugu Nyungkul0
Gugu Rarmul0
Gugu Tungay0
Gugu Wakura4
Gugu Warra0
Gugu Yawa0
Gulngay4
Guluy0
Gundara0
Gungabula0
Gungadidji0
Gunggari4
Gunggay0
Gunya0
Gureng1
Guugu Yimidhirr783
Guwa0
Guwamu0
Guwar0
Guwinmal0
Guyambal0
Ikarranggal0
Indjilandji0
Inland Lamalama0
Jagara0
Jandai0
Jangrala0
Jarowair0
Jirrbal0
Kaanju6
Kala Lagaw Ya1216
Kalali0
Kalaw Kawaw Ya1216
Kalkatungu0
Kapula0
Karangura0
Karanya0
Karenggapa0
Karunbara0
Karuwali6
Kawalgaw Ya0
Kayardild25
Kirka0
Kogai0
Kok-kaper101
Kok Wap0
Kokiny0
Koko Babangk0
Koko Beberam0
Kriol4213
Kugu Mangk0
Kugu My’inh0
Kugu Muminh0
Kugu Nganhcara0
Kugu Ugbanh0
Kugu Uwanh0
Kugu Yi’anh0
Kukatj0
Kuku Jakandji0
Kuku Thaypan0
Kuku Yalaja0
Kuku Yalanji360
Kulkalgaw Ya0
Kungakuri0
Kungkari0
Kunjen0
Kunkalanya0
Kuntakuri0
Kurtjar0
Kuthant0
Kuuk Thaayorre24
Kuuk Yak0
Kuuku Iyu0
Kuuku Ya’u13
Kuuku Yani0
Ladamngid0
Lamalama20
Lardil50
Linngithigh0
Luthigh0
Madjay0
Maiawali0
Mambangura0
Mamngayt0
Mandalgu0
Mandandanji5
Margany0
Marrago0
Marrett River Language0
Marulta0
Marunuda0
Mayi-kulan0
Mayi-kutuna0
Mayi-thakurti0
Mayi-yali0
Mayi-yapi0
Mbabaram1
Mbara0
Mbeiwum0
Meriam Mir212
Mingin0
Minjungbal0
Minkabari0
Mithaka0
Miyan0
Moondjan0
Morrobalama0
Mpakwithi0
Mpalitjanh0
Mulgu0
Muluridji0
Muralidban0
Muruwari3
Mutyanthi0
Nalbo0
Ndra’ngith0
Ndrangith0
Ndwa’ngith0
Ngadhugudi0
Ngadjan0
Ngananhina0
Ngandangara0
Ngaro0
Ngawun1
Ngaygungu0
Ngkoth0
Nguburindi0
Nguri0
Nguwera0
Nhawalgaba0
0
Nuntukuri0
Nyagali0
Nyawaygi5
Nyuwadhay0
Ogh Awarrangg0
Ogh Igadj0
Ogh Undjan0
Olkola0
Oykangand0
Pakanh0
Parlpakurnu0
Parlpamardramardra0
Parnkarra0
Pirriya0
Pitta Pitta0
Punthamara0
Purukuri0
Rakaya0
Rakiwara0
Rimanggudinhma0
Ringu Ringu0
Tableland Lamalama0
Tagalaka2
Taribelang5
Teppathiggi0
Thayem0
Thaynakwith6
Thayunhth0
Thinuntu0
Tjungundji6
Tulua0
Turubul0
Umbindhamu7
Umpila0
Ungan0
Ungawangadi0
Uradhi0
Utyangikwathiya0
Uutaalnganu0
Uw El0
Uw Olem0
Uyungkuthi0
Waanyi0
Wadigali0
Wadjabangay0
Wadjalang0
Wadjingu0
Waguurrga0
Waka Waka2
Wakabunga0
Wakaman0
Walangama0
Walmalbarra0
Waluwarra7
Wamin0
Wangan0
Wangka-yutjuru0
Wangkamanha0
Wangkumara2
Wanjurr(u)0
Wantjika0
Wapabara0
Wargamay6
Waribarra Mamu0
Warungu0
Western Ayapathu0
Wik-keyangan0
Wik Adinda0
Wik Elken0
Wik Epa0
Wik Iyanh0
Wik Me?nh0
Wik Mungkan1050
Wik Ngathan0
Wik Ngatharr0
Wik Ompom0
Wik Paach0
Wimarangga0
Wiri0
Wirray Wirray0
Wulguru0
Wulgurugaba0
Wuli Wuli0
Wulpura0
Wunumura0
Wurangung0
Wuthathi0
Yadhaykenu0
Yagalingu0
Yalarnnga0
Yambina0
Yanda0
Yandjibara0
Yandruwandha0
Yanga0
Yangga0
Yangkaal0
Yaraytyana0
Yarluyandi0
Yarrumada0
Yatay0
Yetimarala0
Yidiny140
Yilba0
Yiman0
Yiningay0
Yinwum0
Yir Yoront0
Yirandali0
Yirgay0
Yirrk-thangalkl0
Yugambeh4
Yugarabul0
Yumplatok6042
Yumukuntyi0
Yupangathi2
Yuru0
Yuwaalaraay7

South Australia (SA)

LanguageNumber of speakers
Adnyamathanha107
Antakirinya6
Arabana21
Bindjali0
Buandig0
Dhirari0
Diyari13
Karangura0
Kaurna34
Kokatha25
Kuyani0
Lower Arrernte0
Marawara0
Mardidjali0
Matja0
Midlaliri0
Mikiri-nganha0
Narungga24
Nauo0
Ngadjuri0
Ngalia0
Ngamini0
Ngananhina0
Ngangurugu0
Ngaralda0
Ngarkat0
Ngarrindjeri159
Ngawait0
Ngayawung0
Ngintait0
Ngulupulu0
Ngurunta0
Nhirrpi0
Nukunu0
Pantyikali0
Parnkalla0
Peramangk0
Piltapalta0
Pirladapa0
Pitjantjatjara2657
Portaulun0
Ramindjeri0
Tanganekald0
Thangkaali0
Wailpi0
Wangkakupa0
Wangkangurru0
Wangkatyaka0
Warki0
Western Desert Language0
Wilyakali0
Wirangu0
Yankunytjatjara561
Yaraldi0
Yardliyawara0
Yawarrawarrka0
Yirawirung0

Tasmania (TAS)

LanguageNumber of speakers
Ben Lomond0
Big River0
Cape Portland0
Circular Head0
Little Swanport0
Macquarie Harbour0
North-western Tasmania0
North Midlands0
Northern Tasmania0
Oyster Bay0
Piper River0
Port Sorell0
Robbins Island0
South-eastern Tasmania0
South-western Tasmania0

Torres Strait Islands

LanguageNumber of speakers
Kala Lagaw Ya1216
Kalaw Kawaw Ya1216
Kawalgaw Ya0
Kulkalgaw Ya0
Meriam Mir212
Yumplatok6042

Victoria (VIC)

LanguageNumber of speakers
Barababaraba0
Bewadjali0
Bi:gwurrung0
Bidawal0
Bindjali0
Boonwurrung0
Brabralung0
Braiakaulung0
Brataualung0
Buandig0
Buibadjali0
Dadi Dadi0
Dhauwurd Wurrung0
Dhudhuroa0
Djabwurrung0
Djadjala0
Djadjawurrung0
Djargurd Wurrong0
Gadubanud0
Gai Wurrung0
Gulidjan0
Gundungerre0
Gunnai21
Jabulajabula0
Jagwadjali0
Jardwadjali0
Jari Jari0
Keerray-woorroong0
Knenknenwurrung0
Koornkopanoot0
Koort-kirrup0
Krauatungulung0
Ladji Ladji0
Mardidjali0
Minjambuta0
Mootatunga0
Ngarigu8
Ngurai-illamwurrung0
Nundadjali0
Pinejunga0
Pirtpirtwurrung0
Polinjunga0
Tanganekald0
Tatungalung0
Taungurung0
Wadi Wadi0
Wathawurrung0
Waywurru0
Weki Weki0
Wemba Wemba3
Wergaia0
Wichintunga0
Wirngilgnad Dhalinanong0
Woiwurrung0
Wotjobaluk0
Wulluwurrung0
Yorta Yorta21

Western Australia (WA)

LanguageNumber of speakers
Amangu0
Andajin0
Badimaya5
Balardung0
Banyjima100
Bardi152
Bibbulman0
Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin0
Buluguda0
Bundjuwanga0
Bunggura0
Bunuba114
Cheangwa language0
Dargudi0
Djalgandi0
Doolboong0
Frazer Range0
Gajerrong0
Gambera5
Giyug0
Gooniyandi418
Goreng0
Gula0
Gunin0
Gurduwanga0
Guwij0
Ibarga0
Inggarda0
Jabirrjabirr0
Jadira0
Janadjina0
Jaru353
Jawi0
Jiwarli0
Jiyil0
0
Jukun0
Julbayi0
Jurruru0
Juwaliny0
Kalaako0
Kalaamaya0
Kaniyang0
Karajarri28
Kariyarra10
Kartujarra26
Kija206
Kiyajarra0
Kriol4213
Kukatja447
Kuluwarrang0
Kurajarra0
Kurrama0
Kuwarra6
Maduwongga0
Malgana2
Malngin9
Mandara0
Mandjindja0
Mangala63
Mangu0
Manjiljarra170
Marangan0
Marawa0
Martu Wangka649
Martuthunira0
Maya0
Mijaranypa0
Minang0
Miriwoong208
Mirning0
Miwa0
Mudalga0
Munumburu0
Murunitja0
Nakako0
Natingero0
Ngaanyatjarra1000
Ngaatjatjara0
Ngadawanga0
Ngajumaya5
Nganawongka0
Ngardi14
Ngarla0
Ngarla6
Ngarluma32
Ngarnawu0
Ngukaja0
Ngumbarl0
Ngurlipartu0
Nhanda2
Nhanhagardi0
Nhugarn0
Nhuwala0
Nimanburru0
Njangadjadjara0
Nokaan0
Noongar232
Norseman0
Nugara0
Nyaki Nyaki0
Nyamal34
Nyanganyatjara0
Nyangumarta312
Nyardi0
Nyikina68
Nyininy0
Nyiyaparli3
Nyulnyul0
Palyku3
Pantikura0
Payungu0
Pililuna0
Pindiini0
Pinikura0
Pinjarup0
Pulinya0
Purduna0
Putijarra0
Thalanyji0
Tharrkari0
Thiin0
Thirrily0
Tjapanmay0
Tjeraridjal0
Tjupany5
Umiida0
Ungarinyin56
Unggarrangu0
Unggumi0
Wajarri86
Wajuk0
Walgi0
Waljen0
Walmajarri518
Walyirli0
Wangkajunga0
Wangkatha321
Wangkatja0
Wanyjirra0
Wardandi0
Warnman4
Warriyangka0
Warrwa0
Watjanmay0
Watjanti0
Wawarl0
Wawula0
Western Desert Language0
Widi0
Wiilman0
Wilawila0
Wilyara0
Winyjarrumi0
Wirdinya0
Wirdjaragandja0
Witjaari0
Witukari0
Wolyamidi0
Worla0
Worrorra22
Wudjari0
Wunambal28
Yapurarra0
Yawijibaya0
Yawuru6
Yiiji0
Yindjibarndi318
Yinhawangka3
Yuat0
Yulparija19

Footnotes

View article sources (3)

[1] Data source: AUSTLANG - Australian Indigenous Languages Database, data retrieved 5/3/2016
[2] '1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2006', Australian Bureau of Statistics, 20/01/2006, retrieved 12/3/2016
[3] 'The People of Australia - Statistics from the 2006 Census', Department of Immigration and Citizenship, 2008, p.33

Cite this article

An appropriate citation for this document is:

www.CreativeSpirits.info,
Aboriginal culture - Language - How many Aboriginal language speakers are left?, retrieved 23 November 2017