Canada's Linguistic Duality Day

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Linguistic Duality Day

Anglophones and Francophones in Canada

  • English: 75%
  • French: 24%
  • Other: 2%

About a quarter of the population, over 7 million people, speak French as their first official language, and about three quarters speak English as their first official language.

Source: 2006 Census

Official language minority communities

All over the country, there are people who speak English and French. One million Anglophones live in Quebec and about the same number of Francophones live in the other nine provinces and three territories.

Source: 2006 Census

Who speaks both languages?

  • 17% of all Canadians
  • 36% of Francophones in Quebec
  • 84% of Francophones outside of Quebec
  • 69% of Anglophones in Quebec
  • 7% of Anglphones outside of Quebec
  • 12% of Allophones

Source: 2006 Census

In the public service

  • 40% of positions require knowledge of both official languages.
  • 1/3 of offices and service points are required to offer bilingual services.
  • 29% of employees have French as their first official language and 71% have English.
  • 1.7 million: number of pages translated by the Translation Bureau in all fields of government activity every year.


In Canadian society

  • 2.4 million young Canadians are studying English or French as a second language in school.
  • 300,000 students are enrolled in French immersion each year.
  • 50,000 direct and indirect jobs are tied to Canada’s language industry.
  • 29% of Quebecers who speak French most often at home report watching television shows equally in English and in French.
  • 20 to 26% of English-speaking Canadians say they have attended at least one French-language cultural event in the past year.


What do Canadians think?

  • 81% are in favour of bilingualism in Canada. (SRC)
  • 81% want Canada to remain a bilingual country. (SRC)
  • 57% think the rate of bilingualism outside Quebec is insufficient. (SRC)
  • 81% think senior federal officials should be required to be bilingual. (SRC)
  • 84% believe that in Canada, if you speak French as well as English, you have a better chance of finding a good job. (DECIMA)
  • 83% believe that it is important for children to learn a second language. (DECIMA)
  • 70% of Anglophones would like to speak French better. (REID)


English and French in the world

  • 66% of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual.
  • 220 million people around the world speak French, and 116 million are learning French.
  • 341 million people speak English as their first language, and 508 million speak it as a second language.
  • English and French are the most commonly studied languages in the European Union.


Published on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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