State of the Park

Yr Ysgwrn, The Black Chair

alt=View from Snowdon Summit

Welsh Language Skills and Profile

The most recent census data show that the numbers of Welsh speakers in Wales declined between 2001 and 2011. In 1911 the figure for the number of people who could speak Welsh was close to a million. The figure fell during the twentieth century until reaching a low of 504,000 in 1981. There was a slight increase in the number of Welsh speakers between 1981 and 2001 before falling again, although the 2011 figure is larger than that of 1991.

Welsh Language Skills

 Actual numberSNPA - 2011 Census%SNPA - 2001 Census%Wales - 2011 Census %Wales - 2001 Census %
  All usual residents aged 3 and over24,959    
  No skills in Welsh8,10432.5%30.2%73.3%71.6%
  Can understand spoken Welsh only1,8617.5%6.1%5.3%4.9%
  Can speak Welsh14,62658.6%62.1%19.0%20.5%
  Can speak but cannot read or write Welsh1,3345.3%5.3%2.7%2.8%
  Can speak and read but cannot write Welsh8343.3%2.3%1.5%1.4%
  Can speak, read and write Welsh12,41349.7%54.5%14.6%16.3%
  Other combination of skills in Welsh4131.7%1.6%12.5%3.0%

The change in Welsh speakers in the National Park is consistent with the trend seen at the national level. There was a 3.5% decrease in the number of people who could speak the language between 2001 and 2011. This percentage of reduction is larger the national average of 2%. There was a significant change in the percentage of people who could speak, read and write in Welsh, with a decrease of 4.8%. There was a 2.3% increase in the percentage of people with no Welsh language skills within Snowdonia.

Between 2001 and 2011although there was an increase in the number of children ( 3-4) and adults (20-44) who could speak Welsh there at the national level, there was a decline in every other age group. There was a decrease in the number of people aged over 3 years old who could speak Welsh in almost every local authority, with the largest decreases in occurring in areas with a tradition of a high level of Welsh speakers.

There are many possible reasons for this reduction. At the national level there have been a number of demographic changes over the years; changes which also apply to Snowdonia National Park level. The reasons for these changes include:

  • fewer young children
  • increase in inward migration among older, non-Welsh speaking adults
  • loss of older Welsh speakers
  • migration to other parts of the UK and
  • some losing their Welsh language skills between the two censuses(e.g. some identified with Welsh language skills in 2001, not identified in 2011).

Source: Welsh Government Statistical Bulletin