OTTAWA - Selected highlights from Wednesday's Statistics Canada release of 2011 census data, focused on language:

— One in five Canadians — some 6.6 million people — reported speaking a language other than English or French at home; 191 distinct languages were among those identified as either a mother tongue or a home language.

— Nearly 10 million people said they could conduct a conversation in French, up from 9.6 million five years earlier; however, as a proportion of the population, those able to speak French slipped to 30.1 per cent, down from 30.7 per cent in 2006.

— Nearly seven million Canadians said they speak French most often at home, a modest increase over 2006, but comprising just 21 per cent of the population — down from 21.4 per cent five years ago.

SEE: The increase (and decrease) in the top 25 immigrant languages spoken at home in Canada, according to StatsCan. Story continues below:
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  • Chinese, n.o.s.

    <b>Language</b>: Chinese, n.o.s. <b>Originating country</b>: China <b>Decrease in Canada</b>: Approximately 8 per cent.

  • Italian

    <b>Language</b>: Italian <b>Originating country</b>: Italy <b>Decrease in Canada</b>: Approximately 5 per cent

  • Polish

    <b>Language</b>: Polish <b>Originating country</b>: Poland <b>Decrease in Canada</b>: Approximately 4 per cent

  • Greek

    <b>Language</b>: Greek <b>Originating country</b>: Greece <b>Decrease in Canada</b>: Approximately 1 per cent.

  • Vietnamese

    <b>Language</b>: Vietnamese <b>Originating country</b>: Vietnam <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 4 per cent.

  • Cantonese

    <b>Language</b>: Cantonese <b>Originating country</b>: China <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 4 per cent.

  • Portuguese

    <b>Language</b>: Portuguese <b>Originating countries</b>: Portugal, Brazil, as well as Mozambique and Angola, among others <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 8 per cent.

  • Serbian

    <b>Language</b>: Serbian <b>Originating country</b>: Serbia <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 10 per cent.

  • Ukrainian

    <b>Language</b>: Ukrainian <b>Originating country</b>: Ukraine <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 10 per cent.

  • Korean

    <b>Language</b>: Korean <b>Originating countries</b>: North and South Korea <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 13 per cent.

  • German

    <b>Language</b>: German <b>Originating countries</b>: Germany, as well as Austria and Switzerland, among others <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 15 per cent.

  • Romanian

    <b>Language</b>: Romanian <b>Originating countries</b>: Romania and Moldova <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 18 per cent.

  • Tamil

    <b>Language</b>: Tamil <b>Originating countries</b>: Sri Lanka, India, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius and Réunion <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 24 per cent.

  • Punjabi

    <b>Language</b>: Punjabi <b>Originating countries</b>:India and Pakistan <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 26 per cent.

  • Gujarati

    <b>Language</b>: Gujarati <b>Originating country</b>: India <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 28 per cent

  • Russian

    <b>Language</b>: Russian <b>Originating countries</b>: Russia, as well as countries of the former Soviet Union <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 28 per cent.

  • Urdu

    <b>Language</b>: Urdu <b>Originating countries</b>: Pakistan and India <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 32 per cent.

  • Spanish

    <b>Language</b>: Spanish <b>Originating countries</b>: Spain, most of Latin America <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 34 per cent.

  • Farsi/Persian

    <b>Language</b>: Farsi/Persian <b>Originating countries</b>: Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain and Azerbaijan, among others <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 34 per cent.

  • Bengali

    <b>Language</b>: Bengali <b>Originating countries</b>: Bangladesh and India, as well as communities in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore and others <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 40 per cent

  • Creoles

    <b>Language</b>: Creoles <b>Originating country</b>: Haiti <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 42 per cent

  • Hindi

    <b>Language</b>: Hindi <b>Originating country</b>: India <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 48 per cent

  • Arabic

    <b>Language</b>: Arabic <b>Originating countries</b>: The League of Arab States, including Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan, among others, as well as Turkey, Iran and Israel, among others <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 45 per cent

  • Mandarin

    <b>Language</b>: Mandarin <b>Originating country</b>: Northern and southwestern China <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 53 per cent

  • Tagalog

    <b>Language</b>: Tagalog <b>Originating country</b>: Philippines <b>Increase in Canada</b>: Approximately 65 per cent

— In Quebec, 72.8 per cent of people said they speak only French at home, down from 75.1 per cent in 2006. In the rest of Canada, the comparable English-only segment dropped to 74.1 per cent from 77.1 per cent.

— Nearly 279,000 people reported speaking Philippine-based Tagalog most often at home, compared with 170,000 in 2006, an increase of 64 per cent — the largest increase of all the reported languages.

— The number of people who spoke Mandarin at home grew by 51 per cent between 2006 and 2011. Arabic grew by 47 per cent; Hindi by 44 per cent; the Creole languages by 42 per cent.

— Eighty per cent of those who reported speaking a language other than English, French or an aboriginal language lived in one of Canada's six largest urban centres: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa-Gatineau.

— In Toronto, Canada's most populous city, 1.8 million people — about 32.2 per cent of the population — reported speaking an immigrant language at home, about 2.5 times as many as in Vancouver.

— 5.8 million people, about 17.5 per cent of the population, reported speaking at least two languages at home, up from 14.2 per cent in 2006 — an increase of about 1.3 million.

— Bilingualism — those who reported being able to conduct a conversation in both French and English — edged up modestly: 5.8 million people in 2011, an increase of 350,000. Statistics Canada attributed the growth primarily to an increase in the number of bilingual Quebecers.

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