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October 24, 2012 – Annie Turner, Analyst, presents a national overview of the language data, 2011 Census.

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October 24, 2012

Language data
2011 Census

Annie Turner
Analyst
Statistics Canada

The 2011 Census of Population data on language were released today. These data illustrate the language characteristics of Canadians in three main themes:

In this video, I will be giving a quick overview of Canada's linguistic diversity and the use and knowledge of its two official languages — English and French.

Part 1: Linguistic Diversity

In the 2011 Census, more than 200 different languages were reported as mother tongue or home language.

One-fifth of Canada's population, about 6.6 million people, spoke a language other than English or French at home in 2011.

{Visual}: A pie chart shows the proportion of English, French and other languages.

The vast majority of them, 6.4 million, spoke an immigrant language.

{Visual}: The pie chart then shows the share of immigrant languages and Aboriginal languages in the total proportion of other than English and French.

The most reported immigrant home languages were the Chinese languages, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, Italian, Urdu and German.

{Visual}: A bar graph shows the most reported immigrant home languages. The Chinese languages bar is split into three sections: Mandarin, Cantonese and Chinese, n.o.s.

Over 60 different Aboriginal languages are spoken in Canada. Cree languages, Inuktitut and Ojibway were the most frequently reported home languages.

{Visual}: The names of the most reported Aboriginal languages appear and become a bar graph demonstrating the three most reported Aboriginal home languages. Cree languages: 83,095; Inuktitut: 35,020; Ojibway: 19,330. The final bar shows the total number of speakers for all the other Aboriginal languages, which is 75,905.

In total, roughly 213,000 people reported speaking an Aboriginal language at home.

In addition, nearly 25,000 Canadians reported using a sign language.

{Visual}: A pie chart shows the proportion of languages other than English or French. It shows a very slight share of sign language users, alongside the much larger shares of immigrant languages and Aboriginal languages.

Part 2: English and French

So, while these data demonstrate Canada's linguistic diversity, its two official languages, English and French, still exert a strong pull as languages of work, education and the provision of government services to the public.

In 2011, 98% of Canadians reported being able to conduct a conversation in either English or French. Similarly, either English or French are spoken on at least a regular basis at home by 94% of the population.

English was the mother tongue of nearly 58% of the country and French was that of nearly 22%.

{Visual}: A pie chart illustrates these proportions for mother tongue.

As for the language most often spoken at home, English was spoken by 66% of Canadians and French by 21%.

{Visual}: A pie chart illustrates these proportions for home languages.

By comparison, the largest language group in Canada after English and French is that of the 'Chinese languages'. In fact, 3.4 % of the population reported one of the Chinese languages as a mother tongue and 2.7 % spoke one of these languages on at least a regular basis at home.

{Visual}: A pie chart shows the most often reported immigrant home languages. The Chinese languages group represents a large portion. The other languages shown are Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, Italian, Urdu and German.

Slightly less than 5.8 million people reported being able to conduct a conversation in both of Canada's official languages. These bilingual individuals represented 17.5% of the total population, virtually unchanged from 17.4% in 2006. 

{Visual}: A pie chart shows the percentage of English speakers (86%), the percentage of French speakers (30%) and the percentage of people who reported being able to conduct a conversation in both English and French (17.5%).

The slight growth of English-French bilingualism was due mainly to the increased number of Quebecers who reported being able to conduct a conversation in French and English.

{Visual}: A map of Canada with the Province of Quebec highlighted. 

Thank you for watching this quick overview. Visit the Statistics Canada website for a more in-depth look at these data and for more information on your municipality, province or territory.

If you have any questions, sign up for our live chat session on Friday, October 26, 2012, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Visit the website and click this icon to register.

{Visual}: Statistics Canada's website appears, highlighting the icon for the "Chat with an expert" module in the right navigation menu.

{Visual}: The image fades into the Canada wordmark against a black background. The video fades to black.

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