Census: One in three Vancouverites speak languages other than English, French at home;Punjabi tops list
VANCOUVER – One-third of Metro Vancouver residents speak a language other than English or French at home, with 17.1 per cent having Punjabi as their mother tongue, according to latest Census data released today.
Cantonese (16 per cent), Chinese n.o.s. (12.2 per cent), Mandarin (11.8 per cent) and Tagalog (6.7 per cent) rounded out the top five leading immigrant languages, which account for 64 per cent of the overall population that speaks an immigrant language most often at home.
The share of the Metro Vancouver population reporting that it spoke only English at home continued the decline that began in 2001. The share has fallen from 65.3 per cent in 2001 to 62 per cent with 2006 and 58 per cent in 2011, respectively. At the same time, the population who reported speaking a language other than English or French in combination with English at home increased from 17.8 per cent in 2001 to 19.7 per cent in 2006 and 24 per cent in 2011.
The data followed a trend across Canada, where more than 200 different languages are being spoken in Canadian households with one-fifth — or nearly 6.63 million people – speak something other than English or French. Of this total, 6,390,000 spoke an immigrant language at home, more than 213,000 people spoke an Aboriginal language, and nearly 25,000 reported using a sign language.
Almost one-third or 2,145,000 people reported that the only language they spoke at home was a language other than English or French, that is, a non-official language. The remaining two-thirds spoke a non-official language in combination with either English or French.
The home languages showing the strongest growth between 2006 and 2011 were primarily Asian. The population speaking Philippine-based language Tagalog rose by 64 per cent, the highest growth. Nearly 279,000 people reported speaking Tagalog most often in 2011, up from 170,000 five years earlier.
At the same time, the relative share of Toronto’s population who reported speaking a language other than English or French in combination with English at home increased from 20.7% in 2001 to 23.0% in 2006 and 27.6% in 2011.
Seven other language groups also saw their numbers increase by more than 30 per cent. They included Mandarin (+50 per cent), Arabic (+47p percent), Hindi (+44 per cent), Creole languages (+42%), Bengali (+40 per cent), Persian (+33 per cent), and Spanish (+32 per cent).
Four languages showed a slight decline in the number of people who reported speaking them most often at home. Three of them, Italian, Polish and Greek, are spoken for the most part by early immigrant groups and their descendants.
Vancouver stands out from the other major metropolitan areas in that the four leading immigrant home languages accounted for more than half (57.7 per cent) of the overall population speaking an immigrant language most often at home.© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
October 24, 2012 / blairpatton / 0