Census data shows linguistic diversity on the rise in Canada

Census data shows linguistic diversity on the rise in Canada

The latest census figures show a record-high number of people in Canada now have a mother tongue other than French or English.

The data also shows about 12 per cent of people predominantly speak a non-official language at home, a proportion that has increased over the last 30 years.

The trend continued even during the pandemic, when immigration slowed considerably due to COVID-19 health restrictions and related immigration backlogs.

Statistics Canada noted a large increase in the growth of the number of Canadians who predominantly speak South Asian languages such as Punjabi or Hindi since the last census in 2016, which was fuelled by immigration.

The growth rate of the population speaking South Asian languages was at least eight times larger than that of the overall Canadian population during this period.

English and French are still by far the most common languages spoken in Canada and 90 per cent of Canadians speak at least one of the official languages.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2022.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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