In a Senate speech, Pauline Hanson said “a growing number of people in Australia cannot speak English well or at all, over a million people”.
In response to The Conversation’s request for sources and comment for inclusion in this FactCheck, an advisor to Senator Hanson sent the following:
There was no Census in 2018 so the number who don’t speak English well or at all was estimated by:
(a) Assuming the rate of increase between 2011 and 2016 continued in 2017 and 2018. There was an increase of 33,000 a year (820,000-655,000=165,000/5 =33,000/year between 2011 and 2016), so we added 33,000 for 2017 and 33,000 for 2018 to bring the number to 886,000.
(b) But there were 1,492,947 individuals who did not reply to the question about English proficiency in the 2016 Census. We assumed, we believe conservatively, that 10% of this group (that did not answer the question) did not speak English well or at all and added 149,294 to the base of 886,000 to bring the total to 1,035,294.
Read the FactCheck here.