Of all the languages spoken within the multilingual Spanish State, except for Spanish itself, Galician is the only one spoken by the majority of the inhabitants of its territory. Surveys carried out in recent decades show that practically all the Galician population speaks Galician.
In spite of the historical circumstances, the Galicians preserved their language. In rural areas, the people in general speak only Galician, whereas in the cities more Spanish is spoken, with Galician being used as well.
Thanks to the Sociolinguistic Map of Galicia (SLMG) whcih came out in 1991, directed by the Sociolinguistics Seminary of the Royal Galician Academy, today a whole set of up-to-date information is available to us concerning the situation our language is and this should help us resolve questions related to language planning and thus help direct the appropriate measures to be taken in order to increase the spread of the Galician language.
We should point out that prior to the publication of the SLMG, the only data available to us were the figures published in the 1991 census. The Autonomous Community of Galicia included in this census a number of questions on the active and passive knowledge and use of the Galician language. This survey shows that, of a total of 2,695,578 people, 2,445,000 understand Galician and 2,100,000 speak it.
The Sociolinguistic Map of galicia (SLMG) covers three main areas of sociolinguistics:
a) A Language proficiency and first-language.
b) The way both languages are used.
c) attitudes towards both languages.
Main front of the second volume of the Sociolinguistic Map of Galicia.