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Knowledge of Catalan. By place of birth and sex Catalonia. 2011
Understand Speak Read Write Don't understand Population aged 2 years and over
Spain 5,993,663 4,911,550 5,121,954 3,751,312 160,894 6,154,556
Men 2,948,482 2,424,480 2,539,805 1,855,563 69,326 3,017,808
Women 3,045,181 2,487,070 2,582,149 1,895,749 91,569 3,136,749
Foreigner 955,681 433,934 628,394 317,907 195,834 1,151,516
Men 496,581 223,508 321,785 161,321 99,718 596,299
Women 459,100 210,426 306,609 156,586 96,116 555,216
Total 6,949,344 5,345,484 5,750,348 4,069,219 356,728 7,306,072
Men 3,445,063 2,647,988 2,861,590 2,016,884 169,044 3,614,107
Women 3,504,281 2,697,496 2,888,758 2,052,335 187,685 3,691,965
Units: Persons.
Source: Idescat. Population census 2011.

Methodological note

Definition of concepts

Knowledge of Catalan
The data in these statistics correspond to the population of two years or more by knowledge of catalan. It is considered: A person «understands» Catalan if they are able to understand a conversation in Catalan on an everyday subject. A person «can read» Catalan if they are able to read everyday texts, such as announcements, newspapers, etc. A person «can speak» Catalan if they are able to maintain a conversation in Catalan on an everyday subject. A person «can write» Catalan if they are able to write notes, postcards, etc. sufficiently correctly, even if not totally correctly.

Methodological aspects

The information on knowledge of Catalan is taken from a treatment by Idescat of data from the Population and Housing Censuses produced by the INE.

Conducting censuses enables an extensive count of a territory's population and demographic, economic and social characteristics, which include those of a linguistic nature. Censuses provide us with data on the capacity to understand, speak, read and write Catalan. They also enable a systematic treatment of linguistic variables in relation with other census variables.

The census model used by the INE in producing for Spain the Population and Housing Censuses 2011 consists of an operation that combines use of administrative records with a sample-based survey and a count of buildings.

The availability of the Population Register as a consolidated population record has made it possible to produce a census of such a nature.

Therefore, the Population and Housing Censuses for 2011 are based on three core issues:

  • Pre-census file: consists of a list of the resident inhabitants of the country including the variables for sex, age, place of birth and nationality. It is based on the maximum use of the available administrative registers, using the Register as the starting point of its structure.
  • Survey: a sample-based survey to find out about the characteristics of people and housing. In Catalonia the effective sample was made up of 622,000 interviewees, representing 8.3% of the population. The data in the survey was obtained by various means: web, regular mail, a 900 telephone number and computer-assisted personal interviews. In Catalonia, the questionnaires were in Catalan and Spanish. In the case of the Val d'Aran, they were also in Occitan.
  • Building Census: a field operation covering the territory. The objectives are to list and geo-reference all buildings that have some estate therein that is a dwelling, to determine the characteristics of the buildings via a building questionnaire and to list all estates contained in each building.

So, unlike previous censuses, in which the whole of the resident population had to answer the census questionnaire, the data for the Linguistic Census 2011 was obtained from a survey addressed at a broad sample of the population.

This new methodology means that the information cannot be offered in such territorial detail as in previous traditional censuses.

The results of the Linguistic Census 2011 are taken from the answers by people aged two years and over to the question "What knowledge do you have of the Catalan language?" in this survey. They do not include people aged under two years because for this group it is not possible to consider, in the strictest sense, that they are able to comprehend any language.

Unavailable information is represented using the symbol ":". When the value is lower than that of the minimum unit to be able to estimate the statistical operation or if it effects statistical confidentiality, the symbol used is "..".