A dictionary of Spanish history and culture
Term coined in the 1960s by Catalanists to describe the Roussillon (Rosselló/Rossellón in Catalan/Spanish), which formed part of the Counties of Catalonia until 1659, when these passed to France as a result of the Treaty of the Pyrenees, and now the most usual term used in Catalonia. According to the Generalitat, today, 3.5% of the population speak Catalan as their first language, with 17.3% using some Catalan. 40.6% of elderly people speak Catalan to the partner. 6.3% of schoolchildren speak Catalan in Roussillon. Possibly and optimistically 25% of the population speak some Catalan. Study here. In nationalist circles Northern Catalonia is said to form part of Els Paisos Catalans (with Aragonese strip, Valencia and the Balearics) and consequently Roussillon forms a daily part of Catalan TV3 weather forecast.
Both Northern Catalonia and Roussillon correspond approximately to the modern French département of the Pyrénées-Orientales.