Minority populations are growing... but their proportions are decreasing

Portrait of Official-Language Minorities in Canada

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 11-629-x

Issue number: 2015010

Release date: April 17, 2014
Minority populations are growing... but their proportions are decreasing - Transcript

Description of visuals

At the provincial-territorial level, official-language minorities account for roughly two million people. But who exactly are these minority Francophonesand Anglophones?

(Blue, purple, orange and green figures appear on the screen at random. The figures rearrange themselves to form various groups (francophones, anglophones, Aboriginals and other mother tongues).)

There are several ways to define language groups: mother tongue or home language is one way to distinguish Anglophones, Francophones, people having an Aboriginal language or any other language as a mother tongue or home language that reflect Canada's great linguistic diversity.

In the public sphere, Canadians of all mother tongues generally use one of the two official languages, English or French.

(Two groups of figures appear on the screen. On the left, two men and a woman with the label stating "Hello!" and on the right, two women and a man with the label "Bonjour!")

Another, more inclusive, way to define language groups is by first official language spoken. This generally designates the official language Canadians likely prefer to use when obtaining public services.

(A census form appears on the screen.)

Statistics on the first official language spoken are not obtained from one direct census question. This information is rather derived, successively, from questions about knowledge of official languages, mother tongue and language spoken at home most often.

(A visual with female and male figures appears on the screen.)

Therefore, the concept of first official language spoken assigns one of Canada's two official languages to all or nearly all Canadians, regardless of their mother tongue.

(Two boxes with an English group and a French group appear on the screen.)

The first official language spoken generally corresponds to the mother tongue in the case of English and French. The vast majority of people who have a mother tongue other than English or French are included in one of these two categories, depending on their knowledge of the official languages or their language spoken at home most often.

It's therefore this more inclusive approach that is often used to define the official language minorities in Canada.

(A map of Canada appears on the screen with figures representing francophones and anglophones in each province.)

Francophone minorities are present throughout Canada. They are most numerous in Ontario and New Brunswick, especially in the regions bordering Quebec.

Anglophones in Quebec are highly concentrated: more than 80% of them live in the Montréal area. However, they are present in the rest of Quebec, especially the Outaouais and Estrie regions.

(A pie chart appears on the screen, showing the minority language population outside Quebec.)

Of Francophones outside Quebec, more than three out of four live in Ontario or New Brunswick; the others are distributed throughout the other provinces and territories. Southern Ontario accounts for more than 40% of Francophones in a minority situation in Canada. If those living in Northern Ontario are added, more than half of the Francophones outside Quebec live in Ontario; one in four live in New Brunswick.

(A bar chart appears on the screen. All the provinces are listed on the left and percentages from 0 to 15 are listed on the bottom. Quebec is represented by a purple bar and the other provinces by orange bars.)

In Quebec, the Anglophone minority comprises 14% of the province's population. In the other provinces and territories, the minority Francophone population generally accounts for 2 to 4% of the population, as the case may be. The only exception is New Brunswick: it is the province with the largest linguistic minority, accounting for nearly one-third of New Brunswick's population.

(A 1971 census form appears on the screen. A bar chart appears on the screen, showing the growth of the minority population from 1971 to 2011. Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Alberta are highlighted.)

Since 1971, which was the first census from which information on the first official language spoken can be obtained, the overall number of Francophones outside Quebec has increased. The largest increases have been in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Alberta.

(Manitoba and Saskatchewan are highlighted to show a decrease in the relative weight of francophones.)

However, the Francophone population has decreased in some provinces, especially Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Nevertheless, the growth of the Francophone minority outside Quebec has not kept pace with population growth: it is becoming a proportionally smaller part of Canada's population.

(A bar chart appears on the screen, showing the proportion of francophones outside Canada.)

The Francophone minority made up 6.1% of the population outside Quebec in 1971, and 4% in 2011.

(A map of Canada appears on the screen, showing the relative weights of the linguistic minority. It contains the following labels: Territories: 1971 3.2%, 2011 2.9% ; British Columbia: 1971 1.4%, 2011 1.9% ; Alberta: 1971 2.0%, 2011 3.0% ; Saskatchewan: 1971 1.4%, 2011 3.5% ; Manitoba: 1971 3.5%, 2011 6.3% ; Ontario: 1971 4.3%, 2011 6.5% ; New Brunswick: 1971 5.0%, 2011 3.3% ; Nova Scotia: 1971 33.9% ; 2011 31.9% ; and Newfoundland: 1971 0.7%, 2011 0.4%.)

The relative weight of Francophones decreased in all the provinces and in the territories, even where the Francophone population recorded strong growth during this period.

(A bar chart appears on the screen, showing the population growth rate. The rate for the language minority is 5.4%, while the rate for the language majority is 65.9% for Canada outside Quebec, 1971.)

The explanation is that while the Francophone population grew, the Anglophone population, bolstered by international immigration in particular, grew even more rapidly during the same period.

(A map of Canada appears on the screen. A label appears over the section representing Quebec.)

By comparison, the Quebec population with English as its first official language spoken remained roughly stable in numbers, due notably to migratory losses to other provinces, but proportionally it shrank from 16.5% in 1971 to 13.5% in 2011.

(The image fades into the Canada wordmark against a black background.)


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