Census figures show a decline in the number of Welsh speakers
Can't say I'm surprised, but it's a kick in the teeth all the same. What remains to be seen is how much of this demographic change is down to out-migration, how much is down to parents realising that a lesson a week doesn't mean their kids can speak Welsh, and how much is down to the death of older Welsh speakers. I think factors 1) and 2) probably have a lot more to do with this decline than 3), but I can't say that that belief is grounded in anything other than anecdotal evidence. Some pretty significant milestones have been passed with this census, though - now less than half the population of both Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion can speak Welsh.
But on the bright side, Wales is now the most atheistic part of the UK.
Full figures available here
Last edited by Kaiser MacCleg; 11-12-2012 at 16:50.
There's the economy. People are moving away from traditional Welsh speaking areas, and often in their place come English immigrants... what was it, just over 20% of the population was born in England? Something that has been ignored in all the media reports of an increase in foreign population...
When people don't find a reason to stay in the Welsh speaking communities, which are then also saturated with English speaking immigrants, the living language is going to suffer badly. The mostly English speaking areas have seen an increase in Welsh speakers, and that's probably a combination of speakers moving to these areas for work and because of Welsh medium schools, but like you say Miracle Day kids at these schools often hardly use the language otherwise. I know someone for example who is fluent and went to a Welsh school along with his brothers, but he and his brothers speak English to each other, as I read Carwyn Jones' kids do also.
The stats on nationality are interesting though. I think it was 60% or thereabouts that stated they were only Welsh, not British - and you have to remember that a good chunk of the whole aren't even Welsh anyway, so the real figure would be even higher. It's actually a similar story in England too. Seems Britishness is losing out... interesting with the Scottish referendum around the corner.
Last edited by Curzon; 12-12-2012 at 01:11.