According to the 2011 Census, there are over 90 different spoken and written languages used in Rochdale borough.
The majority of people in the borough speak English but around 10% of Rochdale residents don't speak English as their first or main language. This includes people whose main or only language is British Sign Language.
How language impacts our health
If you don't speak the native language of your country or you don't know the language very well, it means you're unlikely to be aware of all the health services available to you. It can also present issues when you try to tell doctors about your health problems. Not speaking a native language may also create a lack of communication and socialising in general.
Poor language skills in adulthood, therefore, are often linked with ill-health and poor self-management of long-term conditions.
Caring for patients with limited English can be stressful, time-consuming and risky. This leads to unsatisfactory outcomes for both the patient and the health service professionals.
Therefore, it's important for us to look at the languages in Rochdale borough so we can plan our health services effectively, for example, whether we need to use interpretation and translation services.
Statistics on language
- Office for National Statistics (ONS) - Census 2021 information - the 2021 Census census remains the most up to date source of language data that covers the whole borough population and is best accessed using the Office for National Statistics Nomis platform.
- Office for National Statistics - Cultural identity information - how people in the UK see themselves today in terms of ethnicity, sexual identity, religion and language, and how this has changed over time.
- Department for Education – Schools census as of January 2022 - the Department for Education conducts an annual census on schools, pupils and their characteristics. Although this only covers a small subsection of the population it can give an indication of any changes in languages in use amongst young people in the borough.