French continues to decline in the country

French continues to decline in the country


Statistics Canada's 2021 Census reveals disastrous figures for the state of French in the country, while the proportion of people for whom it is the first official language spoken in the country has further decreased between 2016 and 2021 , dropping from 22.2% to 21.4%, compared to 27.2% in 1971.

While French lost nearly one percentage point, l English as the first official language spoken has gained nearly one point over the same time span, rising from 74.8% in 2016 to 75.5% in 2021.

Bilingualism on the rise in Quebec, declining in Canada

The figures on bilingualism indicate that bilingualism, or mastery of both languages, is mainly the result of Quebec: in 2021, more than half of Quebecers said they could hold a conversation in both official languages.

“This is the first time this threshold has been crossed since the 1901 Census, when information was collected on knowledge of official languages ​​for the first time,” says Statistics Canada.

Up in Quebec by 1.9%, the rate of bilingualism in Canada has remained fairly stable between 2016 and 2021, n increasing by only 0.1% to reach 18%.

“This relative stability is in fact the result of two trends moving in opposite directions, the rate of French-English bilingualism having been on the rise in Quebec, but down outside of Quebec,” we explain.