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Statistics Explained, your guide to European statistics. Statistics Explained is an official Eurostat website presenting statistical topics in an easily understandable way. Together, the articles make up an encyclopedia of European statistics for everyone, completed by a statistical glossary clarifying all terms used and by numerous links to further information and the latest data and metadata, a portal for occasional and regular users.
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In 1958, legislation specified German, French, Italian and Dutch as the official and working languages of the European Union’s (EU) predecessor, the European Communities. There have always been fewer official languages than EU Member States, as some share common languages, for example in Belgium where the official languages are Dutch, French and German, while in Cyprus the majority of the population speaks Greek. Since Croatia’s accession there are 24 official languages recognised within the EU. In addition there are indigenous regional, minority languages (such as Catalan, Galician and Basque in Spain, or Welsh and Scottish Gaelic in the United Kingdom), and languages that have been brought into the EU by migrant populations, notably Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, Hindi and Chinese. Some regional languages, such as Catalan and Welsh, have gained a status as co-official languages of the European Union and the official use of such languages can be authorised on the basis of an administrative arrangement concluded between the Council and the requesting EU Member State.
School and other educational institutions provide the main opportunity for the vast majority of people to learn languages, while linguistic diversity is actively encouraged within many further educational establishments and workplaces. This article presents statistics on language learning in primary and secondary schools of the EU Member States, EFTA and candidate countries.More ...