Statistical Portrait of the French-Speaking Immigrant Population Outside Quebec (1991 to 2006)

Tables: 89-641-X


This report concerns French-language immigration outside Quebec and its recent evolution, focusing on its numbers, its geographic distribution and its demographic and social characteristics. This statistical portrait will mainly use the concept of first official language spoken (FOLS), which is now widely used as a criterion for a person's linguistic identity in studies on official language minorities. The Francophone immigrant population outside Quebec is comprised of two groups: those who have only French as their first official language spoken (French FOLS immigrants) and those who have both French and English (French-English FOLS immigrants).

The Francophone immigrant population living outside Quebec is fairly small, both in absolute numbers and in relation to either the French-speaking population or the immigrant population as a whole. However, the relative weight of Francophone immigrants within the French-speaking population has increased, going from 6.2% to 10% between 1991 and 2006, while their weight within the overall immigrant population has varied more moderately, and in 2006 it was, at most, less than 2%.

The majority of Francophone immigrants outside Quebec 70% are concentrated in Ontario. Furthermore, two-thirds of French-speaking immigrants live in three metropolitan areas: Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver. In Canada outside Quebec, French-English FOLS immigrants, numbering 76,100 in the 2006 Census, are slightly more numerous than French FOLS immigrants, who number 60,900. In some cities, especially Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, this characteristic is more prevalent, with French-English FOLS immigrants outnumbering their French FOLS counterparts by almost two to one. The demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of these two FOLS groups are sometimes quite different.

International immigration to Canada has undergone a rapid transformation in recent decades. Immigrants of European origin have tended to give way to immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America. In this regard, French FOLS immigrants stand out from other immigrants in that a large proportion of them come from Africa. One of the consequences of this trend has been to change the composition of the French FOLS immigrant population; in 2006, Blacks made up 26% of that population, compared to 5% of the other two immigrant groups.

Frequency: Occasional
Author(s): Corbeil, Jean-Pierre; Houle, René
Available formats: HTML, PDF