Gaelic analytical report (Part 1)

NRS has today published Part 1 of an analytical report providing national level statistics on Gaelic from Scotland's Census 2011.

On Census Day, 27 March 2011, a total of 87,100 people aged 3 and over in Scotland (1.7 per cent of the population) had some Gaelic language skills. This included 57,600 people who could speak Gaelic.

The key findings from this report include:

  • The proportion of people aged 3 and over with some Gaelic language skills was highest in Eilean Siar (61 per cent), Highland (7 per cent) and Argyll & Bute (6 per cent).

  • Between 2001 and 2011 there were decreases in the proportion of people who could speak Gaelic in all age groups for people aged 18 and over. For example, for people aged 65 and over the proportion fell from 1.8 per cent in 2001 to 1.5 per cent in 2011. In contrast, the proportion of people who can speak Gaelic increased slightly in younger age groups: from 0.53 per cent to 0.70 per cent for 3-4 year olds; from 0.91 per cent to 1.13 per cent for 5-11 year olds; and from 1.04 per cent to 1.10 per cent for 12-17 year olds.

  • Of people who were Gaelic speakers, 40 per cent reported using Gaelic at home. This proportion was 74 per cent in Eilean Siar, 41 per cent in Highland, 33 per cent in Argyll & Bute and 24 per cent in the other 29 council areas combined. 

A Gaelic translation of the analytical report is being prepared and will be published on the Scotland’s Census website as soon as possible.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Part 1 of the Gaelic language analytical report can be viewed and downloaded here (PDF 2.37MB) Further information on this and other analytical reports can be found on the Analytical Reports page.  A Gaelic translation of our news release is published on the National Records of Scotland website 

A detailed commentary on the background tables to this report, including at council area and civil parish band levels, will be published later in the autumn, in Part 2 of this report and will be available in English and Gaelic.