Irish is a Celtic language spoken in mainly Ireland (Éire). There are also Irish speakers in the UK (Ríocht Aontaithe), the USA (Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá), Canada (Ceanada) and Australia (an Astráil). According to the 1996 census, 1.43 million people in Ireland claim to have some knowledge of Irish, 350,000 of whom speak it regularly. The main concentrations of Irish speakers are in the Gaeltachtaí, which are scattered mainly along the west coast of Ireland and have a total population of 82,715, 76.3% of whom speak Irish.
Names of the language: Irish is known as Irish, Gaelic or Irish Gaelic in English. The official standard name in Irish is Gaeilge. Before the 1948 spelling reform, this was spelled Gaedhilge.