Census 2011 Language Results: French, English Not The Language Spoken At Home For Many Canadians

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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:

Top 25 Immigrant Languages Spoken At Home In Canada
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— 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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