The Welsh Language Board (WLB) said deaths and people moving from Wales are having the biggest impact.
The report says that around 6,500 Welsh speakers die annually and 5,200 move away, out-pacing adult learners and children learning or raised in Welsh.
It found the number of people who say they speak Welsh fluently is approximately 300,000.
Clearly these figures are worrying .But it will be interesting when we get the results of the 2011 census, and look at comparison within Wales to see what the major changes are in the last ten years.
Where I suspect we will see a continued decline in those areas we know as Y Fro Cymraeg ,but increase in those areas which have been long Anglicised
But we need much more than the census results. We need a complete and through investigation into the state of Welsh in the whole of Wales and we need to make sure that we look at what we mean by the ability to speak Welsh.
Importantly: We need to ask .What do we need by fluent?
I'm a monoglot English speaker. But no one questions my fluency in English . Though some reading this Blog may question my literacy.
And yet I have met Welsh speakers who deny they are fluent despite speaking it on a regular basis but because they have not gone on to Higher Education believe they somehow lack fluency and they dont speak "Proper Welsh".
Indeed watching the response to the 5,200 "fluent speakers" who move away it looked to me that they were basing this by mainly counting y those who have achieved an Higher Education and went on to further it . Indeed pursuit of this may be the reason they left.
But the future of the Language does not just lie with those gaining degrees and working and then returning to Wales . It also lies with the shopkeeper in Ammanford ,the farmer in Tregaron, the factory worker in Blaenau Ffestiniog and the hotel worker in Holyhead.
Unless Welsh continues to be the language of ordinary working people even if they don't speak it in the fluency of a senior member of the Gorsedd then the language will die
It must dot become or be seen to be the Language of an Educated elite .where they are measured in their "fluency" though their fluency in English is taken for granted.
And that means the Welsh Government must seek to improve the daily use of the Welsh Language and promote Wales as a Bilingual country. In which fluency in Welsh is counted on the same level as fluency in English and every effort of our Schools are made to improve both.
This does not mean I dismiss the figures or fluency . Indeed if we take the 5,200 figure of fluent speakers leaving Wales to mean the better educated and extrapolate it to include those who are monoglot English speakers it means that something like 26,000 of our most talented people are leaving Wales every year and do not return.
We must seek to retain these no matter what language they speak.
Indeed the challenge for the future of the Welsh Language is the same for the whole of Wales . We need to create work for all and rebuild our communities and create the sort of Wales where the Son of Daughter of the shopkeeper in Ammanford ,the farmer in Tregaron, the factory worker in Blaenau Ffestiniog and the hotel worker in Holyhead can look to the future in their communities even if they temporarily leave to attend further education,