What Languages Does Canada Speak? A New Census Report
Twenty percent of Canada’s population, or nearly 6,630,000 people, speaks a language other than English or French at home, according to a recent report from Statistics Canada.
The most widely spoken languages include Mandarin, Cantonese, and other Chinese dialects, as well as Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, Italian, Urdu, and German.
58% of the population (19,225,000 people) speaks only English at home, while 18.2%, or 6,043,000, speaks only French.
The vast majority — 9 out of 10 Canadians — who speak a language other than English live in one of the country’s major cities, with most concentrated in the largest metropolitan areas: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa – Gatineau.
In Toronto and Vancouver, Chinese and Indian languages predominate, while Montreal and Ottawa have large concentrations of Arabic and Spanish speakers. Punjabi, Tagalog, and Chinese are widely spoken in Calgary and Edmonton.
In the United States, roughly 20 percent of the population also speaks a language other than English at home. However, that language is most likely to be Spanish. In the U.S., 35 million people speak Spanish as their home language — more than the entire population of Canada!
Street sign photo © Carolyn B. Heller