Canada is becoming increasingly bilingual, according to the latest data released by Statistics Canada.
Approximately 17.5 percent of the population speaks more than language at home, up from 14.2 percent in 2006. However, only one-quarter of those households are bilingual in Canada’s two official languages – English and French.
The most common language make-up is English and Punjabi. Languages from China are also heavily used. The usage of Tagalog has grown significantly as more and more immigrants arrive from the Philippines.
“We have all these transition phases where English and French are also spoken at home in addition to non-official languages,” said Statistics Canada analyst Jean-Pierre Corbeil. “This doesn’t happen only outside Quebec but in Quebec as well.”
Overall, the trend show that bilingualism in English and French is not growing in Canada – Francophone youth are more likely to learn English but Anglophone youth are less likely to learn French. Furthermore, Native languages are on the decline.
Experts warn, however, that the data may be slightly skewed because of the new regulations regarding the Census introduced by the Conservative government. Corbeil estimates that there is, in fact, even more diversity across Canada in terms of language.
Source: National Post