Medieval Gaels - History - Today

Today

The two comparatively 'major' Gaelic nations in the modern era are Ireland (which in the 2002 census had 185,838 people who spoke Irish "daily" and 1,570,894 who were "able" to speak it) and Scotland (58,552 "Gaelic speakers" and 92,400 with "some Gaelic language ability" in the 2001 census). Learning the language is compulsory in Republic of Ireland schools but not in Scotland. Communities where the language is still spoken natively are restricted largely to the west coast of each country and especially the Hebrides in Scotland. However, a large proportion of the Gaelic speaking population now lives in the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland, as well as Donegal, Galway, Cork and Dublin in Ireland. There are about 2,000 Scottish Gaelic speakers in Canada (Canadian Gaelic dialect), although many are elderly and concentrated in Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. According to the 2000 US Census PDF (123 KiB), there are over 25,000 Irish-speakers in the United States with the majority found in urban areas with large Irish-American communities such as Boston, New York City and Chicago.

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