Quarter of NL residents don't speak Dutch at home
About a quarter of Netherlands residents aged 15 or older do not speak Dutch at home, instead speaking a dialect, a regional language, or a different language completely, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday.
Over 10 percent of Netherlands residents speak one of the three regional languages recognized by the government - 2 percent speak Frisian, 5 percent speak Low Saxon, and 3 percent speak Limburgish. Over 5 percent of Netherlands residents speak a dialect at home. And 8 percent speak a different language altogether, such as English, Turkish or Berber.
"Provinces differ greatly in the language or dialect that is most widely spoken at home, with dialects and languages obviously not sticking to the provincial boundaries," the stats office said.
Dutch is most often spoken in Utrecht homes, and least often in Limburg where less than half of residents speak Dutch at home. In Friesland, 40 percent speak Frisian. And 48 percent of Limburg residents speak Limburgish. Low Saxon is the home language of 31 percent of Drenthe residents, 26 percent of Groningen residents and 24 percent of Limburg residents.
Residents of Zeeland and Noord-Brabant most often communicate at home in a dialect that is not a recognized regional language, at 30 percent and 25 percent respectively. Zuid-Holland and Noord-Holland have the most residents who speak a different language like English or Arabic at home, at 12 percent and 11 percent respectively.
Education level plays a role in the use of dialects and regional languages, but not in the use of other languages. The use of a dialect as language at home decreases with increasing education. The same is true for Low Saxon, and to a lesser extend for Frisian and Limburgish.
But when it comes to the home use of Chinese or English, for example, it is common among both highly educated people and people with lower levels of education.