Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sixty Percent

This note comes to us thanks to EITb:

Eustat data

Sixty percent of the Basques have some knowledge of Basque


Basque speakers increased by 118,000 people with respect to 2001 in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. Gipuzkoa was the first territory in terms of the population speaking Basque, (52.9%).

Six out of every ten residents in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country understand or can speak Basque well or with an occasional difficulty, according to data elaborated by Eustat, the Basque Statistics Office.

In this population group, a distinction is made in terms of their level of knowledge between: 775.000 Basque speakers –who understand and speak Basque well– and 459.000 almost-Basque-speakers, with a good or medium level of comprehension but with difficulties when speaking.

Basque speakers increased by 118,000 people with respect to 2001, whereas the number of almost-Basque speakers decreased by 11,000.

Per territory

If an analysis is made of Basque speakers per territory, Gipuzkoa maintains itself in 2006 as the first territory with a majority of the population speaking Basque, totalling 52.9%, followed by Bizkaia with 31,3% and Alava with 25.1%.

On the other hand, with respect to 2001, Alava turned out to be the territory with the biggest increase in Basque speakers, 8.9%, followed by Bizkaia with 6.4% and Gipuzkoa with 1.5%.

Profile of Basque speaker

36.3% of the residents of Gipuzkoa has Basque as their maternal language and one out of every four only speaks Basque at home. This percentage increases to 40% if you are those whose beak of Spanish and Basque at home.

In Bizkaia, Basque as the maternal language amounts to 13.1% and in Alava this reaches 4% whereas, as a spoken language, it reaches 6% in Bizkaia and 3.7% in Alava, and 15% and 6% if you add those who speak both Basque and Spanish.

The predominant profile of the Basque speakers is different pending on the territory. In Bizkaia (12.7%) and Alava (12%), this is a person aged below 35 who understands, speaks, reads and writes well in Basque, where as his or her maternal and spoken language is Spanish.

Too bad we are missing how things are in Nafarroa, Lapurdi and Zuberoa.

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