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The Diversity of the Canadian Francophonie

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Réjean Lachapelle
Demolinguistics Studies Division
Rendez-vous de la Francophonie
March 17, 2009

The presentation focuses on the diversity of the Canadian Francophonie. It was given by Réjean Lachapelle, Director of the Demolinguistics Studies Division at Statistics Canada, on March 17, 2009 as part of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie.

Slide No. 2

Slide No. 2 shows the outline of the presentation. The author first deals with the evolution of the Francophone population, then the geographic distribution of Francophones, and after that the homogeneous and pluralistic nature of the Francophonie in terms of Aboriginal identity, religion, immigration, third languages and visible minorities. To conclude, the author talks about a changing Francophonie.

Slide No. 3

Slide No. 3 introduces the first part of the presentation, which deals with the evolution of the Francophone population.

Slide No. 4

Slide No. 4 shows the evolution of Canada’s Francophone population based on census data.

The proportion of the population whose main language is French has been declining for the past half-century, whether based on mother tongue, home language or first official language spoken. However, French as a second language is gaining ground.

Slide No. 5

Slide No. 5 shows the age distribution of the population with French as its mother tongue based on the 2006 Census.

The Francophone population of Quebec is younger than that of the rest of Canada.

Slide No. 6

Slide No. 6 introduces the second part of the presentation, which deals with the geographic distribution of Francophones.

Slide No. 7

Slide No. 7 includes a thematic map of Canada showing how the proportion of Francophones (based on mother tongue) varies by census division, in 2006.

The proportion of Francophones is higher in Quebec as well as in the adjacent regions of Ontario and New Brunswick. More than 85% of Canada’s Francophones are living in Quebec.

Slide No. 8

Slide No. 8 includes a thematic map of New Brunswick showing how the proportion of Francophones (based on mother tongue) varies by census subdivision, in 2006.

The proportion of Francophones is higher in northern and eastern New Brunswick.

Slide No. 9

Slide No. 9 includes a thematic map of Ontario showing how the proportion of Francophones (based on mother tongue) varies by census subdivision, in 2006.

The proportion of Francophones is higher in southeastern and northeastern Ontario.

Slide No. 10

Slide No. 10 shows the proportion of Francophones (based on first official language spoken) living outside Quebec, in 2006.

Outside Quebec, New Brunswick has the largest proportion of Francophones, who account for one-third of its population. Elsewhere the Francophone density is consistently below 5%.

Slide No. 11

Slide No. 11 shows the geographic distribution of Francophones living outside Quebec, in 2006.

Half the Francophones living outside Quebec reside in Ontario and a quarter reside in New Brunswick.

Slide No. 12

Slide No. 12 includes a thematic map of the Ottawa–Gatineau CMA showing how the proportion of Francophones (based on mother tongue) varies by census tract, in 2006.

The proportion of Francophones is much higher in Gatineau than in Ottawa and in the east than in the west.

Slide No. 13

Slide No. 13 introduces the third part of the presentation, which deals with the homogeneous and pluralistic nature of the Francophonie (based on first official language spoken, with multiples always distributed equally between French and English). The first section of the third part is about Aboriginal identity.

Slide No. 14

Slide No. 14 shows the proportion of Francophones and Anglophones reporting an Aboriginal identity, in 2006.

It is in Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as in the territories that the largest proportion of the population reports an Aboriginal identity, among both Francophones and Anglophones.

Slide No. 15

Slide No. 15 shows the distribution of Francophones and Anglophones by Aboriginal identity outside Quebec, in 2006.

Francophones reporting an Aboriginal identity are mainly Métis outside Quebec.

Slide No. 16

Slide No. 16 introduces the second section of the third part of the presentation, which is about religion.

Slide No. 17

Slide No. 17 shows the distribution of Francophones and Anglophones by religion in the country as a whole, in 2006.

Nine Francophones in ten report being Catholic. Anglophones are divided into three major groups, none constituting a majority: Protestants, Catholics and No Religion.

Slide No. 18

Slide No. 18 shows the proportion of Francophones who are Catholic, in 2001, the year of the last census for which data are available on this topic.

The proportion of Francophones who are Catholics exceeds 80% in all provinces, except British Columbia. More than 20% of Francophones in that province report having no religion.

Slide No. 19

Slide No. 19 introduces the third section of the third part of the presentation, which is about immigration.

Slide No. 20

Slide No. 20 shows the distribution of Francophones and Anglophones by generation (as determined by place of birth, i.e. Canada or abroad), in 2006, in the population aged 15 and over.

More than 85% of Francophones are third generation or more (their parents were both born in Canada) and less than 10% are first generation (they were born abroad). In contrast, close to 30% of Anglophones belong to their first generation.

Slide No. 21

Slide No. 21 shows the proportion of immigrants within the Francophone population, in 2006.

The proportion of immigrants exceeds 10% in Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. It is lower in Quebec (8%).

Slide No. 22

Slide No. 22 shows the proportion of the Francophone population born outside the province or territory of residence, in 2006.

The majority of Francophones were born outside their province or territory of residence in Newfoundland and Labrador, west of Saskatchewan and in the territories.

Slide No. 23

Slide No. 23 shows the distribution of Francophones and Anglophones born abroad, by region of birth, in 2006.

Among Francophones born abroad, immigrants born in Africa (specially in North Africa and Central Africa), the West Indies and Latin America are overrepresented, as are immigrants from Western Europe.

Slide No. 24

Slide No. 24 shows the proportion of Francophones within the immigrant population by immigration period, in Quebec and outside Quebec, based on the 2006 Census.

The proportion of Francophones is higher in recent immigration periods, but it remains lower than its relative share in the population, both in Quebec (85.7%) and in the rest of Canada (4.2%).

Slide No. 25

Slide No. 25 introduces the fourth section of the third part of the presentation, which is about third languages.

Slide No. 26

Slide No. 26 shows the proportion of the population with a third mother tongue among Francophones and among Anglophones, in Canada, in Quebec and outside Quebec, in 2006.

The lower proportion of third mother tongues within the Francophone population reflects the smaller weight of immigrants in the Francophone population and the fact that French exerts less pull on newcomers.

Slide No. 27

Slide No. 27 shows the proportion of Francophones with a third mother tongue, in 2006.

The proportion of third mother tongues in Francophone population is much higher in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Slide No. 28

Slide No. 28 introduces the fifth section of the third part of the presentation, which is about visible minorities.

Slide No. 29

Slide No. 29 shows the proportion of visible minorities within the Francophone and Anglophone populations, in Canada, in Quebec and outside Quebec, in 2006.

The proportion of members of visible minorities within the Francophone population is lower because immigration is proportionally much higher in the Anglophone population and French exerts less pull than English.

Slide No. 30

Slide No. 30 shows the proportion of Francophones belonging to a visible minority, in 2006.

The proportion of members of visible minorities is higher among the Francophones of Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Slide No. 31

Slide No. 31 shows the distribution of various visible minorities among Francophones and among Anglophones, in 2006.

Some visible minorities are overrepresented among Francophones: Black, Arabs, Latin Americans and Southeast Asians.

Slide No. 32

Slide No. 32 deals with the changing Francophonie.

A general trend is outlined: Francophones with French as their mother tongue are seeing or will see their numbers decline because of their low fertility and the stagnation in the transmission of French as mother tongue from mothers to their children, except in Quebec and New Brunswick. Key developments are also presented, i.e. the expansion of the concept of Francophonie to include some non-native speakers of French as well as the emergence of a new Francophone immigration.