Gaelic-speaking Population

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Gaelic.— The number of persons speaking Gaelic only, and not English, is 2,652 compared with 6,716 in 1931. Persons speaking both Gaelic and English number 91,630, compared with 129,419 in 1931. In 1931, 2.67 per cent. of the population spoke Gaelic and English. In 1951 the percentage is 1.80. The percentage of persons speaking only Gaelic has declined from 0.14 to 0.05. The counties with the largest numbers of persons speaking Gaelic are Argyll, Inverness, Lanark and Ross & Cromarty. The only counties having a considerable number of persons who speak only Gaelic are Inverness (1,227) and Ross & Cromarty (1,332). The county having the next highest number of persons speaking only Gaelic is Argyll (37). Persons speaking Gaelic and English number 25,027 in Ross & Cromarty, 23,663 in Inverness, 13,027 in Argyll and 12,915 in Lanark.

The percentage of persons speaking only Gaelic is negligible, except in the counties of Inverness (1.44 per cent.) and Boss & Cromarty (2.20 per cent.). The percentage of persons speaking Gaelic and English is highest in the counties of Ross & Cromarty, 41.36; Inverness, 27.86; Sutherland, 24.33; and Argyll, 20.59.

Taking together persons speaking only Gaelic and persons speaking Gaelic and English, the following are the comparative inclusive figures for 1931 and 1951 for the counties principally concerned:—

  1931 1951
Argyll 21,234 13,064
Inverness 34,455 24,890
Lanark (including Glasgow) 17,851 12,934
Ross and Cromarty 34,391 26,359
Sutherland 6,794 3,325

These provisional figures should be taken with rather more reserve than other figures in this preliminary report because experience shows that when the census schedules have been fully examined the figures have required in the past a fair amount of revision.

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