The recent report from Statistics Canada brings forth an unusual finding which reflects upon the language diversity in Canada. The report found that 4.6 million Canadians predominately speak a language other than English and French at home.
Immigration has been increasing the number of Canadians who speak a language other than English and French at home. In particular, 1 in 4 Canadians in 2021 reported their mother tongue other than English and French. They constitute about 9 million people in Canada.
However, the vast majority of Canadians still speak at least one of Canada’s two official languages – English or French. About 92.9% of the Canadian population in 2021 spoke English or French at home on a regular basis.
Statistics Canada also highlighted an interesting trend in the french-dominated province of Quebec. The number of people in Quebec whose first official language spoken is English topped 1 million for the first time.
Immigration continues to enrich Canada’s culture
Canadians who speak South Asian languages saw a significant increase between 2016 to 2021. In fact, the number of speakers of South Asian languages grew at least eight times larger than that of the entire Canadian population during the period.
This signals the rising trend of immigration coming from countries like India and China. At the same time, there was a decline in the number of Canadians who spoke predominately European languages. This coincides with the fact that immigration to Canada is relatively less from countries like Italy, Poland, or Greece.
Canadians who spoke a language other than English and French were more likely to concentrate in the large urban centers in provinces like Ontario, and British Columbia.
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