Gaelic language report (part 2)

National Records of Scotland (NRS) today published further statistics on Gaelic from Scotland’s Census 2011. A commentary setting out a detailed analysis of the data, including at council area and civil parish level, is provided in an analytical report, Scotland’s Census 2011: Gaelic report (Part 2). It supplements Part 1 of the report, which was published on 30 September and focussed on some key statistics on Gaelic at national level.

The key findings from this report include:

  • In 2011, at both the primary school stage (5 to 11 years) and the secondary school stage (12 to 17 years), the largest group of Gaelic speakers lived in households where no adult had any Gaelic skills (36.1 per cent at ages 5 to 11 and 39.3 per cent at ages 12 to 17).

  • Where both male and female adults in a household had some Gaelic skills, 61.1 per cent of 5 to 11 year olds in those households could speak Gaelic.

  • Where all adults in the household had some Gaelic skills, the incidence of Gaelic-speaking ability among children was 14.6 per cent for children aged 0 to 2, 37.8 per cent for children aged 3 to 4, 48.6 per cent at ages 5 to 11 and 46.3 per cent at ages 12 to 17.

  • In Eilean Siar, the highest incidence of Gaelic speakers was for people in the ‘Other Christian’ (66.6 per cent) and ‘Roman Catholic’ (65.9 per cent) categories.

  • The occupation category with the highest proportion of Gaelic speakers was ‘Weavers and knitters’, at 14.2 per cent.

  • In 2011, 70.3 per cent of people who used Gaelic at home lived in the three council areas where the incidence of Gaelic skills was highest – Eilean Siar, Highland and Argyll & Bute.

  • Two fifths (40.2 per cent) of Gaelic speakers reported using Gaelic at home. This proportion decreased with the incidence of Gaelic speaking in the local community: whilst 79.7 per cent of Gaelic speakers used Gaelic at home in civil parishes where 50 per cent or more of the population spoke Gaelic, it was 22.1 per cent in civil parishes where 1 per cent or less of the population spoke Gaelic.

A Gaelic translation of the analytical report is being prepared and will be published on the Scotland’s Census website as soon as possible. Further information on this and other analytical reports can be found on the Analytical Reports page.