Portrait of Official-Language Minorities in Canada

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 11-629-x

Issue number: 2015010

Release date: April 17, 2014
Conclusion - Transcript

Description of visuals

The vitality of official-language minorities in Canada is a complex topic, that can only be approached by taking into account its multiple dimensions.

Demographic factors - among which are the births, the migration, the language transfers and the transmission of the language to children - represent key contributors to the evolution and vitality of official-language minorities.

But the vitality of a language and a language community goes well beyond demography. The strength of the community, the institutions that bind it together and the value given to the minority language are factors that favour its daily use, both within the minority community and among the majority.

The relative weight of the linguistic minority, and its concentration, play a major role in the vitality of official-language minorities. Nearly 3 Francophones in 10 outside Quebec,

(A visual depicting 10 persons appears on the screen.)

and 2 Anglophones in 10 in Quebec,

(A visual depicting 10 persons appears on the screen, in which 3 figures are highlighted in orange and another visual depicting 10 persons appears on the screen in which 2 figures are highlighted in purple.)

live in a municipality where they are, in fact, in the majority-they comprise at least half the population of the municipality.

(A series of cover pages for the portraits of official-language minorities in Canada appears on the screen, one after the other.)

The portraits of official-language minorities in Canada published by Statistics Canada have established the links between the relative weight or concentration of the language minority within the municipality and indicators of the vitality of official-language minorities-in particular, language transfers, the use of the minority language with health or justice professionals, attendance of minority schools, use of cultural products, and community life in the minority language.

Another notable finding: when the minority comprises a larger share of the population within the municipality, it makes the minority language better known within the majority group.

In the coming years, many of these factors will pose major challenges for official-language minorities in Canada. Aging populations could make access to health care in the minority language an issue.

(A visual depicting a hospital and francophone and anglophone individuals appears on the screen.)

(A map of Canada appears on the screen. Francophone and anglophone individuals are depicted in all the provinces.)

Immigration, the main source of growth in the labour force, could play a growing role in the vitality of official-language minorities.

(Two schools appear on the screen. Under the two schools, two groups of figures, a francophone group and an anglophone group, are shown.)

Beyond demography, a way of fully encouraging the linguistic duality in Canada is by teaching the minority language to the majority population, and encouraging that population to retain it. So, access to instruction in the minority language is another major challenge for the vitality of Canada's official languages.

(A map of Canada appears on the screen. Images of schools are depicted in all the provinces. There are depictions of francophones and anglophones in all the provinces.)

For complete information on these statistics and on many others, you can view the complete series of portraits of official languages in Canada, available for free at Statistics Canada's website,

(The Canada word mark appears on screen.)


Date modified: