Languages: Just under three-quarters of the population spoke Luxembourgish in 2011, while one-fifth used English on a regular basis, new figures have revealed.
Luxembourgish was the most spoken language on a regular basis in the Grand Duchy in 2011, according to a new report. French was used by more than half of the population on a normal basis, and German used by nearly one-third, Statec said on Thursday. English and Portuguese were each used by about one in five people.
The national statistics agency reported that 71% of the population spoke Luxembourgish, 56% spoke French, 31% spoke German, 21% spoke English, 20% spoke Portuguese and 6% spoke Italian. The data comes from the 2011 census, which asked respondents which languages they “habitually” used “at work, at school and/or at home”.
On average, people in the Grand Duchy regularly spoke 2.2 languages; although 40% spoke just one, while 26% spoke two, 17% spoke three and 13% spoke four. The average increased to 2.6 languages for those aged 15 to 19, and the figures dropped below two for those aged 60 and older.
Luxembourg nationals reported speaking an average of 2.1 languages, with 18% saying they spoke English.
The use of Luxembourgish by immigrants increased with the length of their stay in the Grand Duchy, the statistics bureau observed.
Foreigners speak 2.2 tongues
Foreign nationals collectively reported usual use of an average of 2.2 languages, with 32% speaking Luxembourgish.
The Dutch had the highest average number of languages spoken in the report: 2.7. Fifty one percent spoke Luxembourgish, and just under half spoke English or spoke French.
The French had the lowest average number of habitually spoken languages: 1.9, Statec said. Just over a quarter spoke Luxembourgish, with nearly a third speaking English and 18% speaking German.
British nationals spoke an average of two tongues, with half speaking French and 18% speaking Luxembourgish.
In the capital, Luxembourgish was habitually used by less than half of the population: 49%.
The commune with the highest use of Luxembourgish was Consthum (95%). Niederanven had the highest usage of English (38%), followed by Strassen, Schuttrange and Sandweiler, which all had rates over 34%.
The survey did not examine the “level of competence in a language”, but only its regular use.