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People, Language & Religion
 
 
 

People

One of the main features of Gibraltar’s population is the diversity of their ethnic origins. The demographics of Gibraltar reflects Gibraltarians' racial and cultural fusion of the many European and other economic migrants who came to 'The Rock' over 300 years, after almost all of the Spanish population left in 1704.

The main ethnic groups, according to the origin of names in the electoral roll, are Britons (27%), Spanish (26%, mostly Andalusians but also some 2% of Minorcans), Genoese and other Italians (19%), Portuguese (11%), Maltese (8%), and Jews (3%). There is a large diversity of other groups such as Moroccans, Indians, French, Austrians, Chinese, Japanese, Polish and Danish.

Language

The official language of Gibraltar is English, and is used by the Government and in schools. Most locals are bilingual, also speaking Spanish, due to Gibraltar's proximity to Spain. However, because of the varied mix of ethnic groups which reside there, other languages are also spoken on Gibraltar. Berber and Arabic are spoken by the Moroccan community, as are Hindi and Sindhi by the Indian community of Gibraltar. Hebrew is also spoken by the Jewish community and the Maltese language is still spoken by some families of Maltese descent.
Gibraltarians often converse in Llanito. It is an Andalusian Spanish based vernacular and unique to Gibraltar. It consists of an eclectic mix of Andalusian Spanish and British English as well as languages such as Maltese, Portuguese, Italian of the Genoese variety and Haketia (Ladino). Andalusian Spanish is the main constituent of Llanito, but is also heavily influenced by British English. However, it borrows words and expressions of many other languages, with over 500 words of Genoese and Hebrew origin. It also often involves code-switching to English.

Religion

Gibraltar's main religion is Christianity. The great majority (78%) of Gibraltarians belong to the Roman Catholic Church. The 16th century Saint Mary the Crowned is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gibraltar, and also the oldest Catholic church in the territory.

Due largely to the British presence, other Christian denominations are also present. They include the Church of England (7%), whose Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is the cathedral of the Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe; the Gibraltar Methodist Church, Church of Scotland, various Pentecostal and independent churches mostly influenced by the House Church and Charismatic movements, as well as two Plymouth Brethren congregations. There is also a ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Jehovah's Witnesses.

The second religion in size is Islam (4% of the population). There are also a number of Hindus, members of the Bahá'í Faith and a long-established Jewish community.

 

 
 


 



 


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