Census 2011: Polish Second Most Common Language In England And Wales

Polish is the second most common main language in England and Wales with more than half a million speakers, according to the 2011 Census.

Nearly one in 10 people in England and Wales - 8% - reported speaking a different main language other than English or Welsh in the census, findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown.

Polish was the second most common language with 546,000 speakers, reflecting more than half a million Poles who migrated to England and Wales during the last decade.

Redcar and Cleveland local authority had the highest percentage of people with English as their main language at 99% of the population, with Ealing listing the highest proportion of Polish speakers at 6% of the population.

In all but three of the London boroughs - the City of London, Richmond Upon Thames, and Hillingdon - more than 100 languages were listed as main languages.

Of the four million residents of England and Wales who spoke a main language other than English, 1.7 million said they could speak English very well, 726,000 could speak English but not well and 138,000 could not speak English at all.

The least common main language in England and Wales was listed as Manx-Gaelic with 33 speakers, followed by 58 Gaelic Scottish speakers.

London had the highest proportion, at 22%, of people who reported that English was not their main language, with the North East reporting the lowest percentage in this category, at 3%.

The figures also showed that not all languages were spoken - with 22,000 people using sign language.

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