I’d been planning on posting something about migration to and from the Vale since June, after I found this site. But the timing on this is particularly relevant – and for bloggers interested in areas that have suffered decreases in bilinguals, it would be worth doing a much more detailed analysis than the treatment I’m going to give, which extrapolates from only one year’s data.
For the year ending June 2011, a total of 4,400 people from elsewhere in Wales or from England moved into the Vale of Glamorgan (balanced by 4,400 emigrants). Given that the population on census night (27 March 2011) was 126,300, the in-migrants represent 3.5% of the population. Or to put it another way, we’ll all be replaced by in-migrants in 28.7 years’ time. Terrifying!
But from whence came these intruders?! The answers are revealed here (places in England are emboldened in the lists for ease of reference):
- Cardiff – 36.0%
- Rhondda Cynon Taf – 6.6%
- Bridgend – 6.4%
- Swansea – 4.1%
- Caerphilly – 2.0%
- Newport – 1.6%
- Carmarthenshire – 1.4%
- Neath Port Talbot – 1.4%
- Pembrokeshire – 1.1%
- Birmingham – 1.1%
- Bristol – 1.1%
And fewer than 50 migrants (less than 1% each) came from:
- Bath and North East Somerset
- South Gloucestershire
- Merthyr Tudful
- Blaenau Gwent
- Cheshire West and Chester
10 migrants each came from a whole bunch of other places.
If we add up the proportion of in-migrants coming from elsewhere within Wales, we find that 64.4% of in-migrants come from Wales, with more than half of those being our friends in Cardiff. Welcome all!
There’s a point here about these statistics. They tell us very little about nationality and bilingualism in and of themselves because they focus on domicile. So it could be the case that each of the 4,400 moving to the Vale is bilingual and all of them Welsh. But that’s a statistical improbability.
Statistics aren’t gathered on Welsh language ability the other side of the border, so we have no way of knowing the proportion of people living in Birmingham who are Welsh speaking. But on the basis of probability, it’s likely that the vast proportion of them are not (bilingual students returning to Wales notwithstanding). So we can assume that most of the 1,566 people moving to the Vale from across the border do not speak Welsh. I’m going to say that just 1% of them do – so that’s 16 per year.
I’ve done some calculations on the likely proportion of those moving to the Vale from elsewhere in Wales who are bilingual. Of the 2,820 of these people, 349 of them are likely to be bilingual (number from each local authority multiplied by the proportion in that authority who are bilingual). Doing the same for the 4,400 people leaving the Vale in the same year gives 475 bilinguals leaving, for a net loss of 90 (including the 16 bilinguals coming from England).
If we assume that the year ending in June 2011 was unexceptional, and that patterns were relatively similar for the previous 9 years, then we can see that the Vale has actually generated a net total of 20 plus 90 bilinguals each year (the actual increase in bilinguals, plus the exported bilinguals minus the imported bilinguals), for a total of 110 per year. But there’s more.
Some bilinguals will die over the course of the year. Nothing’s easy in this world, and apportioning the mortality rate to the Vale of Glamorgan is no exception because the only statistics available apply to EnglandandWales. So the population of that entity is 56,077,000, the population of the Vale is 126,300, and 493,242 people died in 2010. That leaves a pro rata number of deaths for the Vale of 1,111, of whom 120 would have been bilingual.
That leaves the gross total of new bilinguals to be 230 each year.
I’ve found it difficult to find out how many pupils there are in Ysgol Bro Morgannwg per school year, but with the information that 43% of pupils equals 126, the sum total is 293.
I’m assuming that each year a few adult learners feel confident enough about their improvement in Welsh to classify them as able to speak the language. That leaves about 70 or so pupils going through Welsh medium education who fail to reach the level of fluency necessary to consider themselves as bilingual, for an attrition rate of 24%. Put another way, of all the annual increase in new bilinguals in the Vale, Welsh language primaries and Ysgol Bro Morgannwg are responsible for around 223 of 595, or 37%.
Some of these will have come from bilingual/Welsh language households in any case. But that certainly seems to be a substantial contribution to home-grown bilinguals.
I’d be interested to see whether or not Ysgol Bro Morgannwg would agree with this analysis.