2011 Census Data Shows Changing Canadian Landscape Due to Immigration

Canada’s multicultural fabric continues to evolve, according to newly released data from the 2011 Canadian Census. In some of Canada’s largest cities, bilingualism is extremely common – but not English and French. 

According to the Census, 31 per cent of people in Vancouver speak a first or second language that is not English or French and in Toronto the number is higher, at 32.4 per cent.

Some of the most common languages in these cities are Chinese and Punjabi.

Over 200 languages are spoken in Canada

The 2011 Census also found that over 200 languages were spoken across Canada, with approximately 20 per cent of the Canadian population (6.6 million people) speaking a language at home that was neither English or French. Approximately 6.4 million of those people spoke Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic, Persian, Spanish, Creole or Tagalog, while 25,000 used sign language and over 200,000 spoke an aboriginal language.

In Canada, just over half of the population speaks only English at home (58 per cent or 19.2 million people) while 6 million speak French. In Quebec, the number of those who speak only French at home has been decreasing, from 77 per cent in 2001 to 72.8 per cent in 2011.

People who are bilingual in Canada speaking both English in French rose slightly to 5.8 million, up by only 0.1 of a per cent from 2006.

Multilingual households are also on the rise in Canada, with 17.5 per cent of Canada speaking at least two different languages at home, where this figure was 4.5 million in 2006.

Percentages of the population who speak an immigrant language at home:

Toronto: 32.4
Montreal: 16.5
Vancouver: 31
Calgary: 18.9
Edmonton: 14.5
Ottawa: 11.5

In a global society, our changing demographics and languages really represent our diversity well, and this is a positive asset in Canada

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