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Welsh and Gaelic speakers by age-group: 1971-1981-1991- 2001 Censuses Analysis prepared for: Comunn na Gàidhlig. © 2003 K. MacKinnon SGRÙD Research Source:

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Presentation on theme: "Welsh and Gaelic speakers by age-group: 1971-1981-1991- 2001 Censuses Analysis prepared for: Comunn na Gàidhlig. © 2003 K. MacKinnon SGRÙD Research Source:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Welsh and Gaelic speakers by age-group: Censuses Analysis prepared for: Comunn na Gàidhlig. © 2003 K. MacKinnon SGRÙD Research Source: GROS Gaelic Repts 61-91, R/SAS Table 40 (71/81), LBS 67S (91), S206 (01) ; ONS/NAW 1.37 Welsh speakers ; ONS Census Eng & Wales 2001: Tables S 133, S137, S 139, T 15, and T 39.

2 Official measures promoting growth of Welsh:-  1965 Hughes-Parry Report on status of Welsh  1967 First Welsh Language Act (‘equal validity’)  1967 Gittins Report Primary Education in Wales – aim of full national bilinguality  1972 Bowen Report on roadsigns  1973 Council for Welsh Language  1979 Radio Cymru: 126 hours weekly in Welsh  1978 Council Report: Future for Welsh Language  1982 S4C Welsh-medium TV channel: 34 hrs p. wk in Welsh  1988 Welsh Language Advisory Board  1988 Education Act – Welsh in core curriculum  1993 Second Welsh Language Act  1993 Welsh Language Board  1998 Government of Wales Act – language powers devolved

3 Welsh speakers by age-group: Censuses

4 Gaelic speakers by age-group: Censuses

5 Welsh speakers : age-group as % of all speakers

6 Gaelic speakers : age-group as % of all speakers

7 Welsh speakers : as % total in each age-group

8 Gaelic speakers : as % of total in each age-group

9 Welsh and Gaelic language viability censuses: Age profile of speakers:  The Gaelic language group has steadily aged: the proportion of speakers 65+ increased , and only marginally decreased : 22.7%  24.4%  25.2%  24.5 %  The ageing of Welsh language-group has decreased: : the proportion of speakers 65+ has steadily fallen: 31.0%  27.4%  22.6%  16.9%

10 Welsh and Gaelic language-viability censuses Youth profile of speakers:  Proportion of Gaelic speakers aged 3-15 years declined: from – but has increased between : 11.8%  11.9%  10.7%  12.7% and similarly numerically: 9,991  9,454  7,092  7,435  Proportion of Welsh speakers aged 3-15 years has steadily and substantially increased: 14.3%  16.5%  26.3%  31.7% and numerically: 77,560  83,900  113,,236  184,407

11 Welsh and Gaelic language viability: Censuses Potential viability:  Proportion of Gaelic speakers aged years has remained virtually static: 21.3%  21.9%  20.5%  21.9%  Proportion of Welsh speakers aged years has markedly increased: 25.6%  29.1%  34.0%  43.7% Note: at least 33.3 % is basic for language-group reproduction.

12 Welsh language viability: implications for Gaelic language-planning The success of Welsh language viability was built upon:  Popular movements to secure language for youth Urdd 1922+, in home Undeb Cenedlaethol 1913+, and culture Undeb Cymru Fydd 1939+: much development interwar.  A playgroups movement: Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin, from 1971, followed by rapid growth;  Welsh-medium units and schools (primary from 1939 and 1947, secondary from 1956) followed by rapid growth;  Legislation for status (1967, 1993), and language in education (1944, 1988);  Effective presence in the mass-media: Radio Cymru 1978+, S4C

13 Welsh and Gaelic speakers youth profiles: Censuses – 3-15 years as % of all speakers

14 Welsh and Gaelic speakers age profiles: Censuses - 65s and over as % of all speakers

15 Welsh speakers by age 1921 – 2001

16 Gaelic speakers by age 1921 – 2001

17 Welsh and Gaelic speakers : by % in age-groups

18 Language viability – some conclusions:  Welsh has benefited from legislation, administrative measures and provisions in education and the media, which Gaelic has almost entirely lacked. As a result of this:  The Welsh language-group is increasingly youthful and by 1991 regained the potential for effective viability.  Gaelic has been very largely without the measures enjoyed by Welsh: language and education acts, a language-planning authority (until now), appropriate scale of educational provision, administrative support, and dedicated broadcast media.  Without these measures Gaelic will be unable to build the necessary cultural infrastructure that every language group needs to maintain itself in today’s world.  Scotland – like Wales – now has devolved powers on language, and therefore has the same means to provide for language needs as Wales.


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