Mandarin now overtakes Cantonese in Australia (2011)
Migration patterns meant that it was going to happen sooner or later - and now it’s finally happened. Mandarin has now overtaken Cantonese as the Number One Chinese language spoken in Australia (see info from previous census years).
The following pie chart shows the numbers and relative proportions of the different Chinese languages, and Mandarin is now spoken by 51.4% of all Chinese speakers, while Cantonese is now only spoken by 40.8%.
But not only is this true of Australia as a whole – this trend is now reflected in every single capital city. The following column graph shows the number of speakers of each language in each of the capital cities in Australia and you can see that the Mandarin column (red) is taller than the Cantonese column (green) in every case – sometimes by quite a significant margin.
In case you’re interested in the actual figures for your ministry, you can get them here:
|Chinese, nfd||Cantonese||Hakka||Mandarin||Wu||Min Nan||Chinese, nec||Total|
|Australian Capital Territory||594||3,475||38||6,656||27||179||0||10,969|
Many Chinese churches established in the 80′s and 90′s are predominantly Cantonese speaking. This is because they were set up by people who left Hong Kong due to the announcement of the British handover of Hong Kong in 1997. And while Cantonese was the predominant language in some capital cities for a long time, this is no longer the case.
The reality is that the majority of Chinese speakers now speak Mandarin – and in order to serve them and reach them, Chinese churches must prioritise and fund Mandarin ministry everywhere!
How well is your ministry prepared to reach Mandarin speakers?