Language Projections for Canada, 2011 to 2036
Cautionary note

Readers are reminded that this language projection exercise comprises two objectives: 1) to measure the future sensitivity of the evolution of certain language characteristics and practices to specific demographic and demolinguistic phenomena (including immigration), using four indicators or variables; and 2) to provide a plausible range of growth of the major language groups or speakers defined by various criteria, in Canada and its regions.

This report aims to meet these two objectives. In this vein, we selected three key scenarios to measure the repercussions of recent immigration trends on the language characteristics and practices of the Canadian population. The results of 13 additional scenarios measure in other factors, such as bilingualism, internal migration, language composition of immigrants or the composition of immigrants by country of birth, that can influence future language characteristics and practices.

Moreover, the choice of assumptions and scenarios is not intended to predict the future, but rather to provide data users with a portrait of the Canadian population in the medium and long terms if certain conditions were met. Because it is impossible to know the future, several scenarios were developed to identify a broad range of plausible possibilities in light of the data and past trends, among others. For this reason, users of these projections are encouraged to consider the entire range of results rather than to look for a more likely scenario. Keep in mind also that the objective of the projections is to produce plausible results for now to 2036, rather than short-term, cyclical indicators of Canada’s language situation.

As with any prospective exercise, these projections have certain limitations with regard to, for example, data sources, adjustments to the base population and the methods chosen. These limitations are documented in greater detail in this report as well as in Demosim: An Overview of Methods and Data Sources, Demosim 2017 (Statistics Canada 2017a).

Other sources of uncertainty, including those relating to the variance associated with certain projection parameters as well as the albeit low variability associated with the random processes inherent to microsimulation, could affect the projection results. For these reasons, and to avoid giving the impression of too high an accuracy level, the results presented below have been rounded to the nearest thousand.

Lastly, for the purposes of consistency with other Statistics Canada products, the concepts used in this report are based on those used in the 2011 National Household Survey. They therefore reflect the most recent changes in the choice of definitions.

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