Language Projections for Canada, 2011 to 2036
Chapter 3. Population projections by language group

This section of our study presents an overview of the projection results for the future evolution of the Canadian population based on three language characteristics: mother tongue, language spoken most often at home (home language) and first official language spoken (FOLS). For the first two characteristics, three main language groups can be identified: English; French; and other than English or French (non-official language group). The results by FOLS focus on Canada’s two official language groups, English and French. For all three language characteristics, a small residual group—the “English and French” group—was redistributed equally between the English- and French-speaking populations.Note 1

We first present recent trends for the three main indicators for each language group in Quebec and in the rest of Canada. The next section looks at how these language groups might evolve between now and 2036 in Canada, in Quebec, and in Canada outside Quebec. We discuss Quebec separately from the rest of Canada due to its particular official-languages dynamic, whereby a French-speaking majority coexists with a significant English-speaking minority (with English as a mother tongue, language spoken most often at home or FOLS). The same perspective is then applied to our analysis of the rest of Canada, a region characterized by a majority English-speaking population and a substantial French-speaking minority.

Our projections then shift to the provinces (except Quebec) and territories (combined to form a single entity). Each of the three main language groups (English, French, non-official) is presented according to its language characteristics. Next, we look at the four main areas of contact between Canada’s English- and French-speaking populations: the Montréal CMA, the Ottawa–Gatineau CMA, Eastern Ontario and New Brunswick.

Our results are presented in terms of the general changes to population numbers and especially to the demographic weight of populations by language characteristic, based on a comparison of three international immigration scenarios through which a plausible range of evolution can be established for the populations, drawing on recent trends (Statistics Canada 2017a). Alternative projection scenarios test different assumptions on the level and composition of immigration, the rate of transmission of French, and internal migration for official-language populations in Canada and the provinces. A specific scenario was developed to answer the following question: how many new French-speaking immigrants would it take to maintain the demographic weight of the francophone minority populations at their current levels (in 2016) instead of decreasing?

3.1 Recent trends

Different series illustrating recent evolution trends for the official language groups from 1971 to 2011 are presented in Table 3.1 (numbers in thousands) and Charts 3.1 and 3.2 (percentages), which focus on official language majorities and minorities in Quebec and the rest of Canada.

Regardless of the characteristic considered, official language majorities—the French-speaking population in Quebec and the English-speaking population in the rest of Canada—represent at least 70% of the total population. However, significant differences between the two have been observed. In 2011, for example, the total English-speaking population in Canada outside Quebec was between 18.7 million (mother tongue) and 23.8 million (FOLS), while the French-speaking population in Quebec fluctuated between 6.2 million (mother tongue) and 6.7 million (FOLS) (Table 3.1). A discrepancy and a distinct recent evolution have also been observed between the three language characteristics in Canada outside Quebec. The English-speaking population there is greater when defined by first official language spoken (FOLS), somewhat lower when defined by language spoken most often at home (home language); and at its lowest when defined by mother tongue. In 1971, the maximum difference between the three characteristics was 14 percentage points (Chart 3.1) or close to 2.5 million people; by 2011, the gap had widened to 20 percentage points or 5 million people. The demographic weight of the English-speaking population has been steadily declining since 1981 for mother tongue and since 1991 for home language. Conversely, the English FOLS population—as a percentage of the total population—edged up from just over 92% in 1971 to just over 94% in 2011. In absolute numbers, the English FOLS population in Canada outside Quebec grew by over 10 million, a growth rate of 53.3% over the 1971-to-2011 period.

Immigration has played a key role in the recent evolution of the English-speaking population in Canada outside Quebec. The main factors here are the rise in immigration in the late 1980s and the steady stream of immigrants to Canada since (between 150,000 and 250,000 annually, the majority of whom settle outside Quebec). On one hand, the size and linguistic composition of the immigrant population—a group whose mother tongue is generally other than English or French—have decreased the weight of the English-speaking population, defined by mother tongue and home language. On the other, these developments confirm the role of English as the main language of integration and convergence outside Quebec. Generalized learning of English, language transfers toward English and a strong propensity to adopt English over French account for the discrepancies between the trends noted for each of the three characteristics. These factors also explain why, despite high non-official language immigration, the demographic weight of the English-speaking population defined by FOLS has continued to rise.


In Quebec, the evolution of the French-speaking majority is similar to that of the English-speaking majority outside Quebec, and for the same reasons. However, over the projection period, growth in the French-speaking population (between 28% and 32%) has been slower than that of the English-speaking population in the rest of Canada (between 48% and 53%). Moreover, and contrary to the evolution of the English FOLS population in Canada outside Quebec, the demographic weight of the French FOLS population in Quebec has declined slightly since 2001, although it was still above 85% in 2011.

Immigrants and their children integrate linguistically into Quebec differently than in the rest of Canada. In Quebec, both the French- and English-speaking populations benefit from the language transfers and, generally speaking, linguistic mobility of the non-official-language population. However, linguistic mobility affects the two official-language populations differently. Approximately 55% of language transfers among the non-official-language population in Quebec are toward French and 45% toward English (see Chapter 2). Since there are far fewer anglophones than francophones in the province, the upward impact on the demographic weight is far more significant for the English-speaking population than for the French-speaking population (Chart 3.2).


Regarding how linguistic mobility in the non-official-language population impacts the official language groups, the situation of the English-speaking population in Quebec is comparable to the rest of Canada, if different in terms of its evolution. During each intercensal period since the early 1970s, Quebec’s English-mother-tongue population experienced net negative interprovincial migration to the benefit of the other provinces (see Chapter 2 and Lachapelle and Lepage 2010),Note 2 while its total population either decreased or grew only slightly during the intercensal periods between 1971-to-1981 and 1996-to-2001. While the number of English-speakers has increased since 2001 for all three language characteristics, the population’s relative weight in the total Quebec population has still declined over the entire period, with the exception of FOLS since 2001.

Lastly, despite increases to its mother-tongue and FOLS populations between 1971 and 2011, the French-speaking minority outside Quebec has decreased steadily over the same period as a percentage of the total population. In 1971, the French FOLS population of Canada outside Quebec was just over 6% (956,000 people); by 2011, this figure had fallen to below 4% (1,016,000 people). Similar numbers and percentages apply to the criterion of mother tongue. Language transfers toward English contribute to decreasing the weight of the French-speaking population outside Quebec, and in two ways: directly, by eroding the French-home-language population, whose weight (2.4% in 2011) is clearly below the weight of the mother tongue and FOLS populations; and indirectly, through incomplete intergenerational transmission of French.Note3 Conversely, almost equal numbers (and weight) of the French-mother-tongue and FOLS populations indicate a low rate of language transfer toward French by the non-official mother-tongue population (see Chapter 2).

In Quebec as in the rest of Canada, the non-official-language population has experienced sustained growth for a number of years now, due to immigration. In 1971, 13% of the Canadian population had a non-official language mother tongue; by 2011, this figure was closer to 20%, which represented a population of 6.8 million in 2011 (data not shown). As we have seen, this trend has affected the evolution of the official language populations. If current immigration targets are maintained, it should continue to affect the general composition of the population by language characteristics (mother tongue, language spoken most often at home, FOLS).

3.2 Canada, Quebec and Canada outside Quebec

As mentioned above, the population projections for Canada, Quebec and Canada outside Quebec have been presented for mother tongue, language spoken most often at home (home language) and first official language spoken (FOLS), in that order.

3.2.1 Mother tongue

At the time of the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), Canada’s English-mother-tongue population was approximately 20.1 million; its French-mother-tongue population, 7.3 million; and its “other”-mother-tongue population, 6.9 million. As a percentage of the total population, the English-mother-tongue group represented 58.7%, the French-mother-tongue group, 21.3% and the “other”-mother-tongue group, 20% in 2011.

The projection scenarios indicate that the populations of all three language groups would grow between 2011 and 2036, but at an uneven rate (Table 3.2). In terms of numbers, the English-mother-tongue population could rise from 20.1 million in 2011 to between 22.8 and 23.7 million in 2036. The high-immigration scenario places this figure highest, at 23.7 million; the reference scenario puts it at 23.4 million; and the low-immigration scenario, 22.8 million.

The French-mother-tongue population is also expected to grow between 2011 and 2036, regardless of the scenario. From 7.3 million in 2011, it could attain between 7.5 and 7.8 million by 2036.

Growth could be strongest in the “other”-mother-tongue group, driven primarily by immigration. Between 2011 and 2036, the arrival of hundreds of thousands of immigrants annually (immigration rate of 8 per thousand based on the reference scenario) would directly account for this. According to the high-immigration scenario, the “other”-mother-tongue group should double by 2036, increasing from 6.9 million in 2011 to a little more than 13.8 million. Growth in the other two scenarios, if somewhat less pronounced, should remain high, far above that of the English- and French-mother-tongue populations.

One consequence of these differentiated evolutions is that the non-official mother tongue population, when taken as a whole, could outnumber the French-mother-tongue population during the initial years of projection. That being said, the composition of the former remains very heterogeneous. In addition to the two official languages, the 2011 Census reported over 200 non-official languages ​​as a mother tongue or home language, none of which individually outnumbers the number of English- or French-speakers in Canada. According to the Census, the largest non-official language group in 2011 was Punjabi (single responses), with 430,705 people, followed in numerical order by Chinese (n.o.s.Note 4 ), Spanish, Italian and German.Note 5 Our projections were unable to isolate the specific evolution of Aboriginal and immigrant languages.

A second impact concerns how these changes may affect the relative weight of each of Canada’s three main mother-tongue groups. As a percentage of the total population, both the English-mother-tongue and French-mother-tongue populations would decrease (Table 3.2 and Chart 3.3). Thus, by the end of the projection period, the English-mother-tongue population would represent between 52% and 56% of Canada’s total population (its weight was 59% in 2011 and 63.1% in 1986). The relative weight of the French-language group—a group that accounted for just over one-quarter (25.2%) of Canada’s total population in 1986—would decrease in all three scenarios. In 2011, the French-mother-tongue population represented 21.3% of the national population; by 2036, it could represent around 17% or 18%.

Only the relative demographic weight of the non-official mother-tongue population was projected to increase during the period studied. Accounting for close to 12% of the total Canadian population in 1986 and 20% in 2011, the group’s relative weight was expected to rise to between 26% and 31% by 2036.

The main mother-tongue groups should evolve similarly both in Quebec and in Canada outside Quebec. Between 2011 and 2036, all three language group populations should increase in all three scenarios, except with regard to the French-speaking population outside Quebec, which should decrease. However, the demographic weight (percentage of the total population) of the English- and French-speaking groups should decrease by 2036, with the exception of the English-speaking population in Quebec, whose weight should increase slightly. Indeed, Quebec’s English-mother-tongue population (652,000 in 2011) should increase to either 808,000 or 853,000 by 2036, depending on the scenario. By contrast, the relative weight of Quebec’s French-mother-tongue population (79% in 2011) could decline to between 69% and 72% by 2036. This corresponds to the projected increase from 6.3 million people in 2011 to between 6.6 and 6.8 million in 2036. The highest growth would occur in the high-immigration scenario.

In the rest of Canada, the weight of the French-mother-tongue population could fluctuate, from 3.8% in 2011 to approximately 2.8% in 2036, while that of the English-mother-tongue population could decline from 74% in 2011 to between 65% and 69% in 2036, depending on the scenario. The French-mother-tongue population would decline during this period, from 990,000 in 2011 to between 890,000 and 942,000 in 2036, according to the three scenarios. As for the English-mother-tongue population, its numbers are projected to reach over 22 million in all three projection scenarios.

The highest growth would be in the non-official mother-tongue population, expected to increase in number and as a proportion of the total population both in Quebec and in Canada outside Quebec. In Quebec, for example, the reference and high-immigration scenarios have this population more than doubling by 2036. The reference scenario would project an increase of from just over one million in 2011 to slightly more than two million by 2036; the high-immigration scenario would place the 2036 number even higher, at 2.2 million. In percentages, the group would account for between 19% and 23% of Quebec’s population in 2036, compared with just under 13% in 2011, an increase of 6 to 10 percentage points in 25 years.

In the rest of Canada, the non-official mother-tongue group could also double between 2011 and 2036, according to the high-immigration scenario. Its relative weight in the Canadian population outside Quebec would rise from 22% in 2011 to 28% in the low-immigration scenario and to 33% in the high-immigration scenario.

3.2.2 Language spoken most often at homeNote 6

When defined based on language spoken most often at home (home language), the Canadian population should evolve in parallel with the mother-tongue populations, but at different levels. While a person’s mother tongue remains invariable throughout their lifetime, their home language is liable to evolve over time as a result of language transfer. Such changes mean that the numbers and proportions of groups defined by mother tongue and home language do not correspond exactly.Note 7 Still, the evolution of both groups is not without similarities, since the main thrusts propelling their demographic dynamics over time—immigration and natural increase (births minus deaths)—are the same.

In 2011, the population that reported speaking English most often at home represented 67.8% of the total Canadian population (59% based on mother tongue) or 23.2 million individuals. The projection indicates an approximately 20% increase over 25 years, bringing this population to between 27.5 million and 29.2 million by 2036. Conversely, the weight of this group should decrease by 2036, to approximately 65% in 2016, under the reference and high-immigration scenarios, and decrease by 1 percentage point in the low-immigration scenario (Table 3.3 and Chart 3.4).

The population that reported speaking French most often at home is also expected to grow between 2011 and 2036, but at a slower pace than the population whose home language is English, increasing from 7.1 million in 2011 to between 7.6 and 8.0 million in 2036. However, its percentage of the total Canadian population could fall over the projection period, from 21% in 2011 to less than 19% by 2036, regardless of the scenario. In this sense, its evolution closely shadows that of the French-mother-tongue population.

Lastly, the demographic weight of the group that reported speaking a non-official language at home is also expected to increase as much as 5 percentage points in the reference and high-immigration scenarios, or over 2 percentage points in the low-immigration scenario. In 2011, just over 11% of the Canadian population spoke a non-official language most often at home; by 2036, this could vary between 15% and 18%.

In Quebec, the demographic weight of the French-home-language population could decrease from 82% in 2011 to approximately 75% by 2036, with a few scenario-specific variations. By contrast, the weight of the English-home-language population could increase slightly, going from 11% in 2011 to 13% in 2036 in the three projection scenarios.Note 8 The weight of the non-official home language population should increase more quickly, from 7.6% in 2011 to more than 11.5% in 2036 and up to 14% in the high-immigration scenario.

Outside Quebec, the relative weight of the English- and French-home-language populations is liable to decrease over the projection period. The weight of the population who spoke English most often at home should decrease from 85% in 2011 to approximately 80% in 2036 according to the reference scenario, to 83% according to the low-immigration scenario, and to 79% in the high-immigration scenario. While the French-home-language population could vary from 620,000 in 2011 to between 595,000 (low-immigration scenario) and 651,000 (high-immigration scenario) by 2036, its relative weight could decline at virtually the same rate in all scenarios, from 2.4% in 2011 to 1.9%. Conversely, the weight of the non-official home language population should increase during the projection period, to between 16% and 19% in 2036, depending on the scenario. This would be due to an increase of between 30% and 60% in the size of its population during the projection period, depending on the scenario. In 2011, this population of nearly 3.3 million accounted for 12.5% of the total population of Canada outside Quebec.

3.2.3 First official language spoken (FOLS)

The criterion of first official language spoken (FOLS) is particularly useful for identifying Canada’s official language communities, whether they constitute a majority or minority in their respective areas, since it integrates the non-official mother tongue population, particularly immigrants (see Chapter 1). Any language that constitutes a majority in a given area has an advantage in the public space. This is true of Canada as a whole, where the majority language is English. Quebec is distinct from the rest of Canada inasmuch as its majority language is French; however, English is still very much present in the private and public spheres, particularly in Montréal. We will look at language evolution ​​according to status in Canada as a whole, in Quebec and in Canada outside Quebec, referring to majorities and minorities in terms of the country’s two official languages.

The projection shows that the two FOLS populations would evolve differently between 2011 and 2036, mainly due to the positive contribution of international immigration to the English FOLS population.Note 9 The latter is expected to increase in the coming years, going from 25.9 million in 2011 to between 31.9 and 35.3 million in 2036, depending on the projection scenario (Table 3.4). Its weight in the Canadian population would increase from 75.4% in 2011 to 77.8% in 2036, in all three scenarios. These percentages surpass those projected for the mother tongue and home language populations. The increased weight would be specific to the FOLS population inasmuch as the other two measures indicate a decrease in the percentage of the English-language group over the projection period.

As with mother tongue and home language, the weight of the French FOLS population within Canada could decline by 2036, falling from 23% in 2011 to below 21% in 2036 with minor scenario-specific variations. This is despite the increase to its numbers, which should rise from 7.8 million in 2011 to between 8.6 and 9.2 million in 2036.

The differences between the three language group measures and their evolution over time are complex. Because of this, we need to distinguish between the two situations represented by Quebec (majority francophone) and the rest of Canada (majority anglophone).

The weight of these four populations would evolve differently between 2011 and 2036 depending on the projection scenario applied. In Quebec, the English-language minority is expected to grow by 25% to 35% over the period, reaching between 1.5 and 1.7 million by 2036. As a result, its relative weight would increase from 14% in 2011 to between 16% and 17% by 2036. In contrast, the weight of the French-language minority population outside Quebec could decrease during the same period, despite its expected increase in terms of numbers to between 970,000 and 1.1 million. In all three scenarios, the weight of this group, which was close to 4% in 2011, could fall to 3% by 2036. In terms of numbers, the two official language minorities, nearly on par in 2011 (1,090,000 for the English FOLS population in Quebec and 1,017,000 for the French FOLS population in Canada outside Quebec), should diverge significantly by 2036 (Chart 3.5). From 74,000 in 2011, the difference between the two could reach 600,000 in favour of the English-language minority in Quebec by 2036.

The weight of the majority-official-language population in Canada outside Quebec (English FOLS) could increase slightly during the projection period (from just over 94% in 2011 to around 95% by 2036), due in part to significant growth of its population, from 24.8 million in 2011 to between 30.4 million and 33.5 million by 2036. By contrast, the weight of this same population defined by mother tongue and home language could decrease during the same period.

Quebec’s French FOLS population is expected to grow more rapidly than the French-mother-tongue and home language populations. From 6.8 million in 2011, it could reach between 7.5 million (low-immigration scenario) and 8 million (high-immigration scenario) by 2036. However, despite this growth, its relative weight in the total population would still decrease during the projection period, from 85.4% in 2011 to 83% or slightly less in 2036, depending on the scenario. The French-mother-tongue and French-home-language groups could follow the same trend.

3.3 Provinces and territories outside Quebec

The provinces and territories differ considerably in terms of the linguistic composition of their populations. For example, New Brunswick stands out for its relatively large French-mother-tongue population (31.4% in 2011). Similarly, the non-official-language population has a significantly higher demographic weight in regions west of Quebec than in the Maritime provinces.

This section presents the situation and evolution of each of the three language groups for all provinces and territories except Quebec. The results in terms of numbers of the mother tongue, home language and first official language spoken (FOLS) groups are presented in the appendix tables A.3.1 to A.3.3, while charts 3.6 through 3.8 on the following pages illustrate the projected changes to their relative demographic weights.

3.3.1 English-speaking population

In 2011, Ontario, followed by British Columbia and Alberta, posted the largest number of people with English as a mother tongue in Canada outside Quebec; the territories and Prince Edward Island had the smallest. All three projection scenarios suggest that, by 2036, the English-mother-tongue population would increase in Ontario, in every province west of it and in the territories (Appendix Table A.3.1). Accordingly, Ontario’s English-mother-tongue population is expected to increase from over 9 million in 2011 to approximately 10.5 million in 2036. Alberta is expected to have the second-highest English-mother-tongue population, with a population count of 4.0 million to 4.2 million by 2036. Conversely, the English-mother-tongue populations in the four Atlantic provinces could decline, regardless of the scenario. In addition, the English-home language and FOLS populations in three Atlantic provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) should decrease between 2011 and 2036.

The weight of the English-speaking group would vary according to the definition criterion and a well-defined gradient. As described in the previous section, in nearly all the provinces and for the territories as a whole, the English-speaking population is larger when defined in terms of the first official language spoken and smaller when identified by mother tongue; home language sits somewhere between the two. Only New Brunswick is the exception: in 2011, its English-home language population was slightly larger than its English FOLS population (69.9% versus 68.4%). The exception can be explained by New Brunswick’s considerable French-mother-tongue population, whose language transfers toward English add to the population that most often speaks English at home.Note 10 The gradient between the three language characteristics observed in the provinces is expected to continue in 2036 according to the three projection scenarios, and possibly even include New Brunswick (Chart 3.6).

The projection indicates that the relative weight of the English-mother-tongue and home language populations should decrease between 2011 and 2036 in the three scenarios. In some provinces, the decline could be more than 10 percentage points, according to the reference and high-immigration scenarios. The provinces showing the sharpest decline would be Prince Edward Island and the four provinces west of Ontario, with a few variations depending on scenario and whether the population was defined by mother tongue or home language. Prince Edward Island presents the most extreme case: according to the reference scenario, its English-mother-tongue population could decrease from 93% in 2011 to 80% in 2036, while its English-home language population could fall from 96 % to 86% over the same period. This decline is accentuated in the high-immigration scenario.

Conversely, the weight of the English FOLS population should rise between 2011 and 2036 in most of the provinces and in the territories. However, in most cases, this increase would amount to less than 1 percentage point.Note 11

These developments are not expected to substantially alter the overall picture of the English-speaking population in Canada outside Quebec presented in 2011. As in 2011, three provinces should stand out by 2036 for their high proportion of English speakers (mother tongue and home language): Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. According to all projection scenarios, the population of these three provinces should make up between 80% and 90% of the total population in 2036. In the seven other provinces and territories, the corresponding percentages should not for the most part exceed 85%. The differences among the provinces are due to non-official language population dynamics, mainly driven by international immigration, as well as the presence of a large French-speaking population in New BrunswickNote 12. In all cases, the English-speaking populations in the provinces and territories outside Quebec, including New Brunswick, benefit from language transfers and the fact that for the majority of immigrants, English is the language of convergence and integration.

3.3.2 French-speaking population

The size of the French-mother-tongue populations varies from province to province. In 2011, Newfoundland and Labrador posted the lowest French-mother-tongue population, at 2,000 persons. Prince Edward Island and the territories each had fewer than 6,000 French-speakers (5,200 and 3,000 respectively). In contrast, Ontario and New Brunswick had the largest French-mother-tongue populations outside Quebec (517,000 and 239,000 respectively). The French-home-language and FOLS populations are equally variable according to province but differ in terms of their population counts. The home language population counts are consistently lower than those of the mother tongue, while the FOLS numbers are roughly on par across the country, with the notable exception of Ontario. For example, the French-speaking population in New Brunswick in 2011 was defined as follows: 239,000 persons by mother tongue, 218,000 by home language and 238,000 by FOLS. The French-home-language population accounted for 92% of the mother tongue population, while the FOLS population was just slightly lower than the mother tongue population (Appendix Tables A.3.1 to A.3.3).

By 2036, the size of these populations is expected to vary unevenly from province to province. The number of French-mother-tongue residents could decline in five provinces between 2011 and 2036: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The three Maritime provinces would also see their French-home-language and FOLS populations decrease by 2036 in all projection scenarios. The (negative) growth rates over the period would range from -20% to -40% in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

In terms of numbers, between 2011 and 2036, the French-speaking populations of Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Saskatchewan could remain stable or slightly increase. The French-speaking populations of Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and the territories should grow steadily between 2011 and 2036 in all three projection scenarios. Growth would be highest in Alberta and the territories, with a growth rate somewhere between 25% and over 50% in the reference scenario. In the provinces, the highest growth (or smallest decline) would be observed for the French-home-language population.

The relative share of the French-speaking population varies according to the language characteristic applied. It is lowest when defined based on language spoken most often at home, higher when according to mother tongue and FOLS. This situation distinguishes the French-speaking population from its English counterpart and attests to the attraction of English as a home language among French-speakers living outside Quebec (Chart 3.7).

Apart from New Brunswick, the French-speaking population in all provinces and territories was less than 5% in 2011, whether defined by mother tongue, home language or FOLS (Chart 3.7). Barring a few exceptions, the proportion of French-speakers in the total population is expected to decrease by 2036 in all three projection scenarios. The main exceptions are Newfoundland and Labrador and the territories, where the weight of the French-mother-tongue population could increase due to internal migration. Still, these developments should not alter the overall picture produced in 2011: by 2036, the proportion of French-speakers outside Quebec should still represent less than 5% of the total population, except in New Brunswick. There, the weight of the French-speaking population could decline in all three scenarios and for all language characteristics (mother tongue, home language, FOLS). For example, from around 31.5% in 2011, the proportion of both the French mother tongue and FOLS groups in relation to the total population would fall to 29% or below by 2036.

3.3.3 Non-official-language population

Due to immigration, the non-official mother tongue population should increase everywhere outside Quebec between 2011 and 2036 in the three projection scenarios. In the high-immigration scenario, this population could double in several provinces by 2036. In Ontario and British Columbia, the non-official-mother-tongue population could represent just over 31% of the total population in the low-immigration scenario and 35% or 36% according to the high-immigration scenario by 2036 (Chart 3.8). This population could also see rapid growth in the four Atlantic provinces, even in the low-immigration scenario, though it should not exceed 10% in three of the four provinces by 2036.

Due to language transfer (mainly toward English), in 2011 the weight of the non-official-language population in the provinces and territories was lower when defined by home language than by mother tongue. This could still be the case in 2036 according to the three projection scenarios. In 2011, the gap between the two groups was almost double, and the projections indicate that this would remain the same in 2036. In Ontario, for example, 15% of the 2011 total population reported a non-official language as their language spoken most often at home, while 26% reported it as their mother tongue. According to the projection scenarios, these percentages could reach between 17% and 21% for home language and between 31% and 35% for mother tongue by 2036.

The three scenarios have significant incremental impacts on the non-official-language population projections. This is because the non-official-language population is mainly fuelled by international immigration, the primary demographic component used to distinguish the three scenarios.

3.4 Areas of contact

Four areas of contact were considered: the Montréal and Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan areas, Eastern Ontario (except for Ottawa) and New Brunswick.

3.4.1 Montréal census metropolitan area

In 2011, the majority of the Montréal census metropolitan area (CMA) population was French-speaking, with 64.3% citing French as their mother tongue, 68.7% as home language and 75.7% as FOLS. The weight of the CMA’s English-speaking population varied between 12.5% and 22.7% depending on language characteristic. The non-official-language population represented 23% of the CMA’s population by mother tongue and almost half by home language (13%).

The projections indicate that by 2036, the weight of the CMA’s French-speaking population should decrease in all three scenarios and for all three language characteristics, albeit less sharply for FOLS due to the proportion of the non-official mother-tongue population that adopts French (Chart 3.9). By contrast, the CMA’s English-speaking population should increase in all three projection scenarios, mainly with respect to home language and FOLS. Since the Montréal CMA welcomes—and should continue to welcome—a significant number of immigrants, the weight of the non-official-language population would increase accordingly in all scenarios. By 2036, its proportion of the CMA population could reach over 30% for mother tongue and around 20% for home language.

Montréal’s urban dynamic is marked by the growth of suburbs like Laval, Longueuil and Terrebonne located mainly (though not exclusively) off Montréal Island. In 2011, the CMA population was more or less equally distributed between those living on Montréal Island (49.3%) and those living off the Island (50.7%).


Montréal Island

During the projection period, the three language groups are expected to have different settlement patterns on and off Montréal Island. The weight of the English- and French-speaking populations on the Island could decline between 2011 and 2036, according to all three projection scenarios.

The French-mother-tongue population, which in 2006 and in 2011 already no longer represented a majority of the Island’s population (48%), could see its weight fall to under 44% in 2036. According to the high-immigration scenario, this group could represent only 41% of the Island’s population. The French-home-language population could also see its weight decrease to roughly 50% of the Island’s total population by 2036, a decrease of 2 to 4 percentage points in 25 years. However, the French FOLS population could increase by half a percentage point, from 64.5% in 2011 to 65.0% in 2036, according to all three projection scenarios. Despite a decrease in the weight of the French-speaking population by mother tongue and home language, the increase in the Island’s non-official mother-tongue population would favour an increase in the weight of the French FOLS population. This is mainly due to Quebec’s immigrant selection process that puts the focus on knowledge of French. This means that about two-thirds of the Montréal Island population would tend mainly toward French by 2036, despite a French-mother-tongue population that could account for only 41% to 43%.

Montréal Island’s English-speaking population could also see its weight decrease between 2011 and 2036, in both the English-mother-tongue and home language populations. Depending on the scenario, the weight of the Island’s English-mother-tongue population could fall from 18% in 2011 to around 15% or 16% in 2036. However, when looking at FOLS, the English-speaking population residing on Montréal Island would maintain its relative weight at around 34%.

Conversely, mainly due to immigration, the Island’s non-official mother-tongue population is expected to gain roughly 10 percentage points over the projection period, or slightly less in the low-immigration scenario. This group could represent 43% of the total population by 2036, putting it on par with or even slightly higher than the French-mother-tongue population. In the high-immigration scenario, the difference between the two language groups could attain 4 percentage points (40.6% for the French-mother-tongue population compared with 44.8% for the non-official mother tongue populationNote 13). The non-official home language population stands to gain 5 to 8 percentage points depending on the projected scenario.

Off Montréal Island

In recent years, the Montréal CMA’s urban dynamic has been marked by growth in the English-speaking and non-official-language populations living in the suburbs, located mainly off the Island (Termote 2011). This trend is expected to continue until 2036, according to the three projection scenarios. The non-official mother tongue population could account for between 23% and 26% of the total off-Island population in 2036, an increase of more than 10 percentage points compared with 2011. The non-official home language population, in turn, could double over the projection period, rising from 6.8% in 2011 to just over 14% in 2036 in the high-immigration scenario. Growth would be somewhat lower in the reference and low-immigration scenarios.

The demographic weight of the Montréal CMA’s English-speaking population living off the Island could generally remain shy of 20%, despite an increase in its percentages. In this sense, growth is expected be greater for the English home language and FOLS populations than for the English-mother-tongue population. This trend is due in part to the attraction of English for certain non-official mother-tongue populations, particularly the language transfers that these groups make toward English.

Consequently, and following on recent trends, the relative weight of the Montréal CMA French-speaking population living off the Island is expected to continue to decline throughout the projection period. Nonetheless, it is still expected to constitute the majority of the CMA’s total off-Island population in 2036, at 67%, 72% and 81% respectively for mother tongue, home language and FOLS, according to the reference scenario.

Distribution of the population on and off the Montréal Island

The relative distribution of the Montréal CMA population between the Island and the surrounding suburbs is not expected to change significantly between 2011 and 2036. As previously mentioned, the overall CMA population is divided more or less evenly between on- and off-Island residents.

The percentage of both the English- and non-official-language populations living off the Island should edge up to between 35% and 40% for all language characteristics and scenarios. Conversely, the percentages of their on-Island counterparts should edge down by 2036 (Table 3.5).

The geographic distribution of the French-speaking population should remain relatively stable between 2011 and 2036. Overall, however, by 2036 the English-speaking and non-official-language populations are expected to continue to live predominantly on the Island and the French-speaking population, predominantly off the Island.

3.4.2 Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area

The Ottawa–Gatineau CMA has the distinction of straddling two official-language populations: Ontario, where the majority is English-speaking, and Quebec with its French-speaking majority. This affects the language composition of both urban areas. In 2011, 63.6% of the population in the Ontario part of the CMA had an English mother tongue, 77% spoke English most often at home, and over 81% reported English as their first official language spoken. In the Quebec part, 78% of the population had a French mother tongue, almost 80% spoke French most often at home, and close to 83% had French as their first official language spoken.

Between 2011 and 2036, the projected demographic evolution of these language groups within each entity composing the CMA are marked by three noteworthy trends (Chart 3.10). The first, which is by no means unique to the Ottawa–Gatineau CMA, is the expected increase in the weights of the mother-tongue and non-official home language populations. This trend should occur in all three scenarios and in both the Ontario and Quebec parts of the CMA.

The second trend is the anticipated decline in the demographic weight of the English-speaking population in the Ontario part and the French-speaking population in the Quebec part of the CMA between 2011 and 2036. The percentage that the English-mother-tongue population represents in the Ontario part of the CMA could decrease to between 58% and 61% in 2036 (64% in 2011). The trend would be similar for the language spoken most often at home, namely a decrease of 3 to 6 percentage points during the projection period. However, the weight of the English-speaking population based on FOLS would be stable at around 82%. The French FOLS population in the Quebec part is also expected to decrease, though it should remain above 80% in the three projection scenarios.

A third trend could lead to an increase in the percentage represented by the English-speaking population in the Quebec part of the CMA, whether by mother tongue, home language or FOLS. In 2036, 21% of the population of the Quebec part of the CMA would be English-speaking based on FOLS, and more than 15% based on mother tongue.

Changes to language group distribution between the Ontario and Quebec parts of the CMA should affect the three language groups. The English-speaking population’s distribution between the two geographic entities favoured the Ontario part in 2011, with approximately 93% of the English-speaking population having lived on the Ontario side and 7% on the Quebec side in 2011, compared with approximately 91% and 9%, respectively, in 2036.

The distribution of the French-speaking population should change regardless of language characteristic and scenario (Table 3.6). By 2036, this population should decrease in the Ontario part and increase by the same proportion in the Quebec part, and would predominantly live in the Quebec part, in proportions ranging from 64% (FOLS) to 71% (home language).

In 2011, the non-official-language population was based predominantly in the Ontario part of the Ottawa–Gatineau CMA (88%). This percentage should decrease by 2036. In 2011, 12% of the “other”-mother-tongue population lived in the Quebec part; by 2036, this percentage could reach 18% due to immigration and cross-border migration.

3.4.3 Ontario’s French-speaking regions (excluding Ottawa)

This area of contact between the English- and French-speaking populations was specifically defined for our study. It comprises two regions: the Greater Sudbury CMA; and non-CMA census divisions (CD) in Ontario whose French FOLS population percentage is equal to or greater than 20% (Caron-Malenfant 2015). These CDs are Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Prescott and Russell, Nipissing, Sudbury, Timiskaming and Cochrane. The two regions are presented separately below.

The region overall can be characterized by the language composition of its population. In 2011, over 95% of the population in French-speaking regions of Ontario was English- or French-speaking, with the majority (64%) reporting English as their mother tongue and 31% reporting French (Tables 3.7 and 3.8). The non-official-language population was thus vastly in the minority, particularly in terms of language spoken most often at home (1.7% in 2011), a reflection of the region’s extremely low rate of immigration.

In 2011, the weight of the English-speaking population was higher in Greater Sudbury than in the non-CMA French-speaking areas, with respective English FOLS populations of 75% and 67%; similar differences were observed in the English-speaking mother tongue and home language populations. The opposite was true of the French-speaking population, whose weight was higher in the non-CMA French-speaking areas than in Greater Sudbury. Specifically, 33% of the non-CMA French-speaking populations reported French as their first official language spoken in 2011, compared with 26% in Greater Sudbury.

On the whole, Ontario’s French-speaking areas outside Ottawa are expected to experience a population decline between 2011 and 2036 (Tables 3.7). In 2011, their total population was 556,000; this could fall to below 515,000 in 2036, regardless of the projection scenario. The decline is expected to occur in both sub-regions, mainly as a result of a dwindling French-speaking population. To take mother tongue as an example, the size of the French-speaking population could decline by more than 35,000 over the projection period, dropping from 171,000 in 2011 to 134,000 in 2036. In this sense, the Greater Sudbury French-speaking population could decline by 8,000 and that of the non-CMA French-speaking areas, by 29,000. Over the same period, both the English-speaking and non-official-language populations would remain relatively stable or decrease slightly. Similar trends are expected in the home language and FOLS populations, with the exception of the English-home-language population, which could fall by roughly 16,000 between 2011 and 2036.

In relative terms, between 2011 and 2036 both the English-speaking and non-official language groups in the two sub-regions are likely to see their demographic weight increase in all three projection scenarios (Table 3.8). By contrast, the percentage represented by the French-speaking population could decrease in all three projection scenarios—a direct consequence of the projected future decline in the number of French-speakers. In Greater Sudbury, all three projection scenarios indicate that the French-mother-tongue and FOLS populations could fall from their 2011 level of 25% to 22% in 2036. In the non-CMA French-speaking areas, the decline should be somewhat more pronounced, with the French-mother-tongue and FOLS populations falling from 33% in 2011 to approximately 28% in 2036, a loss of roughly 5 percentage points.

Overall, the two regions should undergo similar change, brought about by the overall population decline, on the one hand, and the low immigration rate compared with other parts of Ontario on the other. Their respective French-speaking populations should decrease in terms of both number and percentage for all language characteristics and in all scenarios.

3.4.4 New Brunswick

New Brunswick has a large French-speaking population. In terms of absolute numbers, it is Canada’s third-largest after Quebec and Ontario. In relative terms, New Brunswick places second after Quebec. It is also the province where the respective weights of the two official language groups are closest, at 66% and 32% for the English- and French-mother-tongue populations respectively. From this standpoint, it bears similarities to Ontario’s French-speaking areas outside Ottawa, whose percentages are nearly identical (64% and 31%).

For the purposes of our language projections, we have defined two French-speaking regions in New Brunswick: the Moncton CMA and the non-CMA francophone regions. The latter comprise the province’s census divisions (CD) with a French FOLS population equal to or higher than 20% (Caron-Malenfant 2015), of Westmorland, Kent, Northumberland, Victoria, Madawaska, Restigouche and Gloucester. In 2011, 63% of the population in the non-CMA had French as their mother tongue or as their FOLS, and 62% spoke French most often at home. In the Moncton CMA, these percentages were 34% and 29% respectively. The rest of the province, including the cities of Fredericton and Saint John, are mostly anglophone, with English being the mother tongue of 93% of the population.

According to the three scenarios, the provincial population could decline during the projection period (Chart 3.11), from 755,000 in 2011 to 700,000 in 2036 in the high-immigration scenario or to 673,000 in the low-immigration scenario. While the non-CMA French-speaking population could decrease by approximately 60,000 in all three scenarios, the population of the other two regions (English-speaking areas/Moncton CMA) would remain relatively stable, with slight upward or downward variations depending on the scenario. This means that the province’s overall population decline would occur primarily in the non-CMA francophone regions.

Its language group dynamics would be characterized by a drop in the relative weight of the English-speaking population in the province’s three sub-regions, even in the English-speaking areas where it constitutes a majority (Chart 3.12). There is only one exception to this general trend: in the English-speaking areas, the English FOLS population would remain at its 2011 level of 95.5%.

The weight of the French-speaking population could fall by 1 or 2 percentage points in the three regions, regardless of the language characteristic considered.

The weight of the non-official-language population, in turn, would substantially increase in all three regions by 2036; however, it should not exceed 10% of the population in any scenario.

3.5 Official-language populations

This section presents the results of a set of nine projection scenarios to 2036 for the English- and French-speaking populations. In addition to the three immigration scenarios used so far,Note 14  two alternative scenarios focus on the effect of total population growth, four address assumptions regarding immigration levels, distribution and composition by country of birth of immigrants, two focus on internal migration patterns and one addresses the rates of French transmission rates outside Quebec.

Tables 3.9 and 3.10 focus respectively on the English-speaking population and the French-speaking population defined by FOLS. In the appendix, these same tables are presented for the populations defined by mother tongue and the language spoken most often at home (Tables A.3.4 to A.3.7). Overall, the English FOLS population, in terms of number and demographic weight, should increase between 2011 and 2036 in all provinces and territories, even in New Brunswick and Quebec where the weight of the French-speaking population is significantly higher than elsewhere in Canada. The percentage that the English FOLS population could represent should not vary significantly in 2036, according to the scenarios presented in Table 3.9. The theoretical scenario of zero international migration after 2016 presents the most significant increase in the weight of the English-speaking populations, except in Quebec and New Brunswick, but would also produce the lowest population growth.

The minor variations in the weight of the English-speaking population from one scenario to the next are attributable to the high attraction of English for the non-official-language population across Canada, regardless of the demographic factors of growth (particularly immigration and fertility). Except in Quebec, immigrants tend heavily to learn English, and among those who have neither English nor French as their mother tongue, language transfers are mainly toward English.

In Quebec, the size and relative demographic weight of the English FOLS population should increase between 2011 and 2036, according to all the scenarios. Specifically, the percentage represented by the English-speaking population based on FOLS could increase to between 15.7% and 17.5 % in 2036, up from 13.6% in 2011. If we exclude the scenario that assumes zero immigration after 2016, the 1996–2001 internal migration scenario would produce the lowest percentage (16.3%). This period saw quite significant migration from Quebec to the rest of Canada, not only for the French-speaking population, but also for the English-speaking population (see Chapter 2).

By mother tongue, the scenario based on the 1996–2001 internal migration would produce a decrease in weight of the English-speaking population in Quebec, which would fall from 8.2% in 2011 to 7.9% in 2036 (Table A.3.4). The other scenarios reveal that its weight should be between 8.4% and 8.8%, and even 9% according to the scenario that assumes zero immigration after 2016.

When defined by FOLS, the demographic weight of the French-speaking population within the total population of the provinces should decrease between 2011 and 2036, regardless of the scenario. However, this would not be the case in the territories (Table 3.10). Moreover, the percentage of the French FOLS population would remain largely consistent across all scenarios. With the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Quebec, the decline could be substantial in most provinces. In Manitoba, it could range from 0.5 to 1 percentage point, depending on the scenario; in the rest of Canada outside Quebec, the decline could be about half a percentage point. While these figures appear small, it should be kept in mind that the percentages observed in 2011 were already low. For example, a decrease of 1 percentage point would represent a relative decline in the weight of the French FOLS population of about 30% in Manitoba, 40% in Saskatchewan and 20% in Nova Scotia.

Of all the scenarios, the one based on the 1996–2001 internal migration, a period marked by significant interprovincial migration from Quebec to Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, would produce one of the highest French FOLS populations outside Quebec (more than 1.2 million, compared with the reference scenario of just over 1 million). This internal migration scenario would suggest a variation in the relative weight of the French FOLS population outside Quebec, decreasing from 3.9% in 2011 to 3.6% in 2036, compared with 3% in the reference scenario in 2036.

According to the scenario of internal migration patterns based on the 2011 NHS and the 2001 and 2006 censuses, the French-speaking population living outside Quebec could reach almost 1.1 million in 2036, an increase of 80,000 people since 2011. During the same period, the demographic weight of the French FOLS population in Canada outside Quebec would fall from 3.9% in 2011 to 3.2% in 2036.

Given the importance of intergenerational transmission, the application of transmission rates reproducing an almost complete transmission of French to French-speaking populations outside Quebec would have of course a positive effect on the growth of the weight of the French-speaking populations in four provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia) and in the territories. In Alberta, for example, the weight of the French FOLS population would rise from 1.9% (2011) to 2.3% (2036) in this scenario, rather than falling to 1.7% or 1.8% in most of the other scenarios. For Canada outside Quebec, the application of these transmission rates would allow the French-speaking population to grow in number (from 1,017,000 in 2011 to 1,234,000 in 2036), but would not prevent its weight in the total population from declining, though to a lesser degree than in most of the other scenarios. As a result, in the almost complete French transmission scenario, the weight of the French FOLS population could be 3.6% in 2036, compared with 3.1% in most of the other scenarios. This shows how important the intergenerational transmission phenomenon is for the evolution of this language group.

3.6 French-language minorities outside Québec

One of the issues raised by these projections concerns the demographic dynamics of Canada’s French-speaking populations, particularly outside Quebec. As we have seen throughout this chapter, the weight of the French-speaking population in Canada, regardless of how it is defined, should decline over the next 25 years according to the various projection scenarios presented thus far.

Knowing that the level and composition of immigration could be modified, we have used Demosim to project the number of French-speaking immigrants (FOLS) required each year between 2017 and 2036 in order to keep the weight of French-speaking minority populations in each province constant with the 2016 levels. Essentially, this amounts to calculating the number of immigrants required to keep the weight of the French-speaking population (non-immigrants and immigrants combined) from declining from a reference point in time. Since immigration from 2011 to 2016 has already taken place and been integrated into Demosim,Note 15 we started our simulation in 2017. The projection components (except for composition of immigration) were drawn from the reference scenario. The total number of immigrants admitted to Canada and their provincial distribution during the simulation therefore correspond to the levels provided by the reference scenario; the simulation does not alter these two parameters. What it does change is the language composition of immigrants, though without increasing their numbers in relation to the reference scenario, in order to generate the desired number of French-speaking immigrants. Note that, since their French FOLS populations are not expected to decline in percentage terms between 2017 and 2036, Newfoundland and Labrador and the territories were excluded from the simulation.

The simulation shows that the required number of French-speaking immigrants could vary significantly from the numbers projected in the reference scenario. Prince Edward Island presents the most extreme situation. To maintain the weight of its French FOLS population, Prince Edward Island should multiply its projected number of French FOLS immigrants by 13.9 in order to attain the target (Table 3.11). Four other provinces—Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan—would need to at least double their anticipated number of French-speaking immigrants to do the same. Elsewhere, the target numbers would be relatively lower. The expected number of immigrants would need to be multiplied by just 1.2 in Alberta, and 1.5 in both Ontario and British Columbia, representing respective increases of 20%, and 50%.

Overall, the demographic context and regional immigration-related disparities mean that some provinces would need to accommodate a sufficient annual number of French-speaking immigrants that s much higher than expected to stem the decline in their French-speaking populations. In total, however, according to the simulation based on the reference scenario, 5.1% of the immigrants who settle outside Quebec between 2017 and 2036 would need to have French as their first official language spoken, compared with 3.1% in the reference scenario. This percentage would vary greatly by province, from more than 35% in New Brunswick to less than 3% in three Western provinces. In all cases, the result of this simulation would translate into a higher percentage of French-speaking immigrants.

3.7 Overview

Future trends in how language will evolve in Canada between 2011 and 2036 can be summarized quite succinctly. The population sizes of the three main language groups should increase over the next 25 years, but at different rates. The only exceptions to this trend would be the English- and French-speaking populations in the Atlantic provinces, which could decline, regardless of the language characteristic (mother tongue, home language or FOLS) or immigration scenario considered.Note 16

The French-speaking population should show the weakest growth in all three groups, both in and outside Quebec, with its demographic weight declining as a result. In Canada outside Quebec, the French-home-language population does not benefit from language transfers. Rather, part of its population tends to adopt English as the language most often used at home. Moreover, the results show that the total French FOLS population outside Quebec could grow from 68,000 to 168,000 in 25 years, effectively outstripping the growth of the French-mother-tongue population, which in turn could rise to between 8,000 and 64,000 persons depending on the projection scenario.

The English-speaking population should evolve along similar lines, but with a few specific characteristics. This population benefits largely from language transfers and from the fact that English is the main language of convergence and integration outside Quebec. The projection results show that the English FOLS population should grow in both size and percentage across Canada, except in the Atlantic provinces, while the English-mother-tongue and home language populations, as a percentage of the total population, should see a slight decline.

The results show that the variation in the absolute number of immigrants in the three projection scenarios presented to date should generally have a limited impact on the relative demographic weight of Canada’s official language groups, both in Quebec and in the rest from Canada. Of course, in terms of its weight, immigration has a major impact on population growth in Canada and on the ethnocultural and linguistic diversification of the Canadian population (Statistics Canada, 2017a). However, the variation of the immigration rate within the range produced by the three projection scenarios has only a minor effect on the official language population’s distribution, regardless of the definition criterion applied. This situation is different for the non-official-language population: essentially dependent on immigration for renewal, it is far more sensitive to the scenarios. Nonetheless, all three scenarios indicate that the non-official-language population should continue to increase both in number and percentage throughout the projection period.

As well as immigration, other factors play into the country’s language composition, including composition of immigration (by country of birth, etc.) and interprovincial migration. Scenarios developed specifically for our language projections that take these factors into account have been presented.

Interprovincial migration should negatively impact the growth of Quebec’s population across all language groups. By the same token, it would positively affect population growth in the rest of Canada. However, the impact could be far more significant on the French-speaking population outside Quebec than on the other two groups, due to the small size of the former. Internal migration could partially offset the negative contributions of natural increase and linguistic mobility, both of which slow the growth of French-language minority communities.

Results from the alternative scenarios developed for these language projections have shown that the demographic weight of French-speaking minorities in Canada is sensitive not just to the level of immigration, but also to internal migration, albeit to varying degrees. There are also differences between the provinces. However, only the scenarios whose assumptions included internal migration patterns similar to those observed between 1996 and 2001—resulting from economic growth conditions that spurred migration to Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia—would project an increase in the weight of the French-speaking population in four or five provinces and the territories. To simply maintain the weight of the French-speaking population in each province, some provinces would need to boost their number of French-speaking immigrants well in excess of the numbers projected over the next few years in the reference scenario.


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