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More than 80,000 call themselves Cornish in 2011 Census

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 12, 2012

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More than 80,000 call themselves Cornish in 2011 Census

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Almost 84,000 people across the country have declared their nationally as Cornish, the 2011 Census reveals – including a lone individual living in Gateshead.

While around 73,000 of them hail from Cornwall itself, more than 10,000 are scattered across England and Wales – from the North East to neighbouring Devon.

Campaigners calling for recognition of Cornwall as a nationality and greater devolution to the western peninsula hailed a huge surge in Cornish identity since just 37,000 did so in 2001, when the last Census was taken.

The figure is also remarkable, they say, because there is no tick-box for people responding to the Census to say they are "Cornish". Instead, they had to tick "other" and then write in their response.

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North Cornwall Liberal Democrat MP Dan Rogerson said: "It is clear that many more people would have identified themselves as Cornish if there was a box to tick."

A Cornish diaspora also emerges. In London, 1,215 people are at least part-Cornish. The North East boasts 87 Cornish nationals.

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  • jimjams2011  |  December 12 2012, 8:12PM

    In London, 1,215 people are at least part-Cornish. You may drink in the Telegraph Pub, Putney Common which sells cornish ales and cornish produce and has a regular cornish food festival. London Cornish rugby team are just down the road towards Kingston. Its a shame the cove pub in covent garden has shut down and the only pasties you can get are 'west cornwall pasty company' (flakey and cold) or ginsters.

    |   3
  • youngcornwall  |  December 12 2012, 7:09PM

    It is only a guide line, we could go on forever asking questions, such as how many have only been in Cornwall 5 minutes and feel as Cornish as the next, if that makes any difference, all one big happy family together now.

    |   -7
  • Newquay_Loyal  |  December 12 2012, 5:35PM

    The Census only tells part of a story. There will be many many more folk who ticked English or British rather than other. This will be mainly as they did not know they could write 'Cornish' on the form. I'm sure that if 'Cornish' was listed, then the amount from all over the UK would exceed 500,000 there are many many folk who have left the Duchy to go up-country for study or work. You only have to look at the Cornish Pirates away fixtures and witness the amount of 'exiles' who watch them. However, you many have those, like myself, who were not born in the Duchy, many from the East will have been born in Plymouth, what would they put down ? What if someone born in Essex but has lived here many many years, married a Cornish Girl and has got involved in many local clubs and activities ? Would that person be wrong in writing 'Cornish', at the moment, there is nothing to stop that person from doing do, even if the Sons of St Piran (An Irishman) disagree. I for one count myself as Adopted Cornish, did that show up one the Census or just disgarded as a 'spoilt' paper ?

    |   8
  • CallingtonFox  |  December 12 2012, 5:18PM

    To be truly meaningful we need to know the thinking behind any of the answers given. Does ticking 'Cornish' for example, mean 'I am from Cornwall which is a part of England' or 'I am Cornish, this is a separate country from England' or something else? Ticking boxes to set questions which can often have differing meanings to people is not the best way of getting information due to the variables involved.

    |   -8
  • CallingtonFox  |  December 12 2012, 5:17PM

    To be truly meaningful we need to know the thinking behind any of the answers given. Does ticking 'Cornish' for example, mean 'I am from Cornwall which is a part of England' or 'I am Cornish, this is a separate country from England' or something else? Ticking boxes to set questions which can often have differing meanings to people is not the best way of getting information due to the variables involved.

    |   -4
  • caroclemens  |  December 12 2012, 3:47PM

    Unfortunately we still do not know how many Cornish people (however defined) there are in Cornwall because this figure only includes those who felt confident and motivated enough to take the trouble of writing it on the form. Other sources suggest that it might be in the order of 180, 000, perhaps higher if more people are 'going native'. That is why we need a tick box.

    |   13
  • youngcornwall  |  December 12 2012, 1:04PM

    "My daughters were both born in Truro but put themselves down as English and what is wrong with that?" Nothing! But for some they have for many years been trying to get more recognition for Cornwall, and others for their own agenda, to some extent they have achieved this, sadly in a lot of cases it has Not been the kind of recognition that Cornwall could benefit too much from

    |   -7
  • polgooth  |  December 12 2012, 1:01PM

    josdave. Thanks. Respectively, that's the point, you don't understand because you are from Devon in England. Brgds

    |   9
  • Harldav  |  December 12 2012, 12:45PM

    Nice to see that cornish are a minority in Cornwall; perhaps this would have been a more approriate headline!

    |   4
  • JJLee  |  December 12 2012, 12:12PM

    When you consider Jedi was such a hit in 2001, I would not examine these figures with any deep meaning Dave. People hate to give out personal details to nosey civil servants is my personal conclusion.

    |   -7

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