By Maëlle Alquezar
New figures from the 2011 Census from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the number of children speaking Welsh is more than twice that of people aged 16-64 (2.4 times) and those over 65 (2.3 times). According to the Welsh Government, these figures are encouraging.
It is also revealed that there is a lot of variation between the different councils. For instance, 89.1% of children living in Gwynedd speak Welsh while the figure reduces sharply in Merthyr Tydfil to 22.7%. With regards to pensioners, 58% of them are able to speak Welsh in Gwynedd compared to 1.3% in Blaenau Gwent. The figures show the same trend for 16-64 year olds: while 62.5% speak Welsh in Gwynedd, it’s just 4.5% in Blaenau Gwent.
Among the Welsh-speaking children, there is a striking difference between teenage boys and girls. Indeed, while 44.7% of 15-year-old girls speak Welsh, that figure shrinks to 35.6% for boys. And in the 16-17 age bracket, 37.7% of girls compared to 28.8% for boys. This trend is no longer true for people aged over 50.
Looks like Welsh is far from being forgotten and that children are the future of the Welsh language.
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