One of the most frequent requests for data that the The Insight Team receives is for the different languages spoken in the city, what non-British communities there are, and whereabouts in the city they live.

Much of the detailed understanding we have about this comes from the census. The further away from the last census we are, the less accurate our understanding of these things are. This is especially true when, like in Hull, there has been large levels of international in and out migration in recent years.

Later this year we will get updated data from Census 2021. Until then, the only additional information we receive are high level estimates of nationality and country of birth from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). As we are now at our 11th estimate since the 2011 Census the data is at its least reliable.

To address the requirement for language and community mapping in the city,  the Insight Team produced an analysis of EAL (English as an Additional Language) pupils by home postcode using data collected in the regular school census and provided to us by the Schools Data and Performance Team.

You can download this analysis here:  HCC EAL Analysis Jan 2022

The analysis includes a breakdown of languages at city and ward level, both by total EAL pupils and as a rate per 1,000 children. In other words by both volume and density.

It shows that the top 10 non-English languages among Hull school pupils are

  1. Polish
  2. Romanian
  3. Kurdish
  4. Arabic
  5. Lithuanian
  6. Russian
  7. Latvian
  8. Bengali
  9. Italian
  10. Turkish

As a sense check, we compared this to the language requests made to the Interpretation and Translation Service, which shows the most requested languages are:

  1. Polish
  2. Arabic
  3. Romanian
  4. Kurdish
  5. Farsi
  6. Latvian
  7. Lithuanian
  8. Somali
  9. Swahili
  10. Bengali

The languages themselves across the two sources differ only slightly.

The latter is based on the number of requests for the use of language services via, often, public sector services, where the need for interpretation or translation may be for official purposes, involving complex or official documents or procedures.

The schools data shows pupils who have English as an additional language.

Neither necessarily shows groups who have no or low levels of English.

The differences between these two will be explained by a number of factors, such as length of time of residence / status, age (younger age groups within the population are more likely to be able to provide translation / interpretation for family / friends), and cultural differences (some groups integrate more readily than others, for example, or English will have been extensively taught in schools in the country of origin and so on).

For further information regarding this analysis contact us at