ARCHIVED - Quick Facts about Canada's Francophonie

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  • There are over 9,5 million French speakers living in Canada, representing nearly one-third of Canada’s population. Approximately 22% of Canadians speak French as their mother tongue. 
  • The province of Quebec is home to the majority of French speakers in Canada, where 7 million speak it as a first or second language. Outside Quebec, some 2.5 million people speak French, with roughly 1 million speaking it as their first language.
  • In Ontario, which is ranked first among Canada’s provinces in terms of population and economy, 1.4 million people speak French.
  • In Atlantic Canada, including New Brunswick—Canada’s only officially bilingual province—more than 450,000 people speak French.
  • In Western Canada, i.e., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, more than 650,000 people are French-speaking.
  • In Canada’s three territories, Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, slightly more than 8,000 people have knowledge of French.
  • The distribution of the French-speaking population across Canada is as follows:1


    Newfoundland and Labrador


    Prince Edward Island


    Nova Scotia


    New Brunswick












    British Columbia


    Yukon Territory


    Northwest Territories







  • Young non-Francophone Canadians all over the country are learning French and contributing to these national statistics. According to Canadian Parents for French, nearly 2 million Canadian students are studying French as a second language, in either core or immersion programs.
  • By studying French, students are learning the official language of many countries, the mother tongue of 110 million people and the second language of some 65 million people around the world. French is spoken on every continent.
  • Each year, more than 250,000 new immigrants come to Canada, including 35,000 French speakers, who make a direct contribution to Canada’s Francophonie.2

1 Statistics Canada: Population by knowledge of Official Languages, 2006 Census.
2 Citizenship and Immigration Canada: Immigration Overview, Facts and Figures 2005.