Bilingual Visible Minorities: Bilingualism Levels and First Official Language

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Proportionally speaking, bilingualism levels are slightly higher among the visible minority population (11%) than among the population who have English as their first official language (9%).

  • Some 5.2 million members (18%) of the total population of Canada are bilingual (see Appendix 3).
  • Of the population who have English as their first official language (21.9 million), some 1.9 million people are bilingual (9%) (see Appendix 4).
  • Among the visible minority population (4 million), some 430,000 people are bilingual (11%) (see Appendix 5).

In the total population, the number of bilingual people who have French as their first official language (over 3 million or 58%) exceeds the number of bilingual people who have English as their first official language (1.9 million or 37%). However, the situation is reversed for the bilingual visible minority population.

  • Some 47% of bilingual visible minorities have English as their first official language, 26% have French and 27% have both English and French.

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