Languages in the UK

Today I found maps on the Guardian website which show the percentages of speakers of languages other than English in a number of major UK cities. It is based on data from the 2011 census and shows where the speakers are concentrated. For example, the main concentration of Bengali speakers is in East London around Mile End, while Arabic speaks are concentrated mainly along Edgeware Road. Meanwhile in Cardiff there are Polish speakers in most parts of the city with a particular concentration between Newport Road and Broadway.

This kind of map might be useful if you’re looking for people to practice your languages with.

Do you know if similar maps are available for other cities or countries?

6 thoughts on “Languages in the UK

  1. It’s a bit disappointing (not to mention linguistically incorrect) that the survey includes Welsh as a subset of English – it would have been interesting to see the distribution of 1st language Welsh speakers in Wales (and outside Wales – although there is unlikely to be anywhere else in the UK where there are enough of them to show up on the map). But I suppose the survey is concerned with *foreign* languages – i.e. those that originate somewhere other than where they are being spoken – which rules out Welsh in Wales.

    Incidentally, in Llanidloes, Montgomeryshire, I would wager that there are more people speaking Polish as their first language (albeit probably not a high enough percentage to show up as a different colour on the map) than Welsh.

  2. @ David Eger

    At one time it used to be said there were significant Wy school.elsh speaking communities in Liverpool and London. Liverpool university used to have a department of Celtic languages and of course, still to this day London houses at least one Welsh chapel and, I believe, a Welsh medium primar

  3. Excuse gibberish above- should be:

    @ David Eger

    At one time it used to be said there were significant Welsh speaking communities in Liverpool (Lerpwl) and London (Llundain). Liverpool University used to have a department of Celtic languages and, of course, to this day, London houses at least one Welsh medium chapel, not to mention a Welsh medium primary school.

  4. @ Land Tortoise
    Yes – There’s a Welsh presbyterian chapel round the corner from where I grew up in Ealing. I never gave it any thought at the time but, in retrospect, I remember a disproportionate number of teachers with Welsh surnames – some with Welsh accents. I have since read that the boroughs of Ealing and Hillingdon have long been the principal stronghold of London’s Welsh community. I don’t recall ever hearing Welsh spoken in the street there, though.

    Liverpool is not surprising, being close to Wales – a substantial part of it was built by Welshmen. There is, I believe, Welsh spoken in a few places the wrong side of the border – Oswestry is one such place. Shrewsbury has a small ‘ex-pat’ Welsh speaking community.

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