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English speaking by age and gender

Key points

  • The proportion of people not able to speak English well or at all is higher in London than the rest of England for both men and women
  • Women are generally more likely to be unable to speak English well or at all, particularly in older age groups
  • Only a very small proportion of those under 19 are not able to speak English well or at all

English speaking by age and gender

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What does this graph show?

According to the census around 290,000 people aged 10 or over in London were not able to speak English well or at all (around 4%). The next graph shows how this compares to the rest of England and the stark differences by gender and age. It shows that for every age/gender breakdown the proportion of people unable to speak English well or at all was considerably higher in London than in the rest of England.

In London, for every age group over 20, a higher proportion of women were unable to speak English than men and this gap is generally higher among older age groups.
Around 1% of people in London aged 10 to 19 were unable to speak English well, reflecting that almost all of this group will have spent most of their lives in the UK and will have spoken English at school. The proportion unable to speak English well increases in each age group until age 35 where it reaches 4% for men and 6% for women. But for women there is another jump, the proportion in their 70s unable to speak English reaches 9%.

Data used

ONS, Census 2011

NOTE: The data on this page may not be the most recent available because this indicator was not updated in our most recent report, published in October 2015. Nevertheless, we have chosen to keep the page live because it tells an important story about poverty in London, and the general pattern described here is unlikely to have changed significantly.

Indicator last updated: 2 December 2015