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Bilingualism in Canada in the spotlight

September 8, 2022, 11:06 a.m. (EDT)

Bilingualism in Canada in the spotlight

Comment allez-vous? Very well, thank you!

How many times have you heard a francophone and an anglophone chatting at the coffee machine, switching from one language to another, accents intermingling, engaged in a heated discussion about the most recent snowstorm?

Canada has a rich linguistic diversity. The languages known and spoken here are closely linked to our identity, our culture, and our relationship with the community. For people young and old, be it at home, school, or work, languages punctuate and add colour to our daily lives.

Canada’s official languages, English and French, are commonly spoken by the vast majority of the Canadian population for communication and service exchange. Although both are spoken throughout Canada, English is a minority language in Quebec, while French is a minority language in the other provinces and territories, as well as in Canada as a whole.

In 2021, 6.6 million people could conduct a conversation in both English and French. The rate of English-French bilingualism in Canada (18.0%) is relatively stable compared with 2001 (17.7%). Further, this rate varies by age group: 25.2% among 15‑ to 24-year-olds, 19.2% among 25‑ to 64-year-olds, and 13.7% among those aged 65 years and older.

Interesting, isn’t it? On August 17, Statistics Canada released the most recent data from the 2021 Census on linguistic diversity. It includes tables, infographics, highlights, and a host of data to help you better understand the development of Canada’s linguistic profile.

We hope you enjoy it!

Contact information

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