3

Some 58.5% of foreign residents of the Balearics say that they can speak Catalan while 37.5% can write it.

These are findings from the latest annual report - InformeCAT 2016 - into the condition of Catalan in the Balearics. They suggest that the knowledge of the language could be higher than that indicated by the Spanish-speaking census. Specifically, of 242,757 people born elsewhere who now reside in the Balearics, 142,013 know how to speak Catalan and 91,034 can write it.

There are currently more than ten million Catalan speakers in the world. The Balearics is the region in which there is the highest percentage of people who say they understand it - 96.8% - and speak it (80.5%). This refers to the language that is habitually used, i.e. Catalan rather than Castellano.

The report's data is based on the 2014 study of language use by the Plataforma per la Llengua collaboration between the University of the Balearic Islands and the Catalonian government. It also considers the previous government's decision to make Catalan a merit rather than a requirement of working in the public sector. In town halls there were 19 positions of controller and twelve of secretary held by people who were not Catalan speakers.

The president of the Plataforma organisation, Oscar Escuder, says that when there are no barriers to Catalan it has a dynamism which it does not have when the Spanish state attempts "to cut its wings". This dynamism is shown in social networks and by the increase in the adoption of the internet domain .cat.