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2006 Census: The Evolving Linguistic Portrait, 2006 Census: Evolution of the language situation in Quebec

Increase in the Anglophone population1

For the first time since 1976, the number of Anglophones in Quebec showed an increase. The numbers rose from 591,000 in 2001 to 607,000 in 2006, an increase of 16,000. The growth rate for the Anglophone population (+2.7%) between 2001 and 2006 was higher than that for the Francophone population (+2.0%).

The number of people who spoke English most often at home increased by 40,000 between 2001 and 2006. This contrasts to a decline of 16,000 persons during the previous five-year period. For those whose primary home language is English, the increase of 5.5% since 2001 is double that of the population whose main home language is French (+2.8%).

Table 12 Population of English mother tongue and population of English as the language spoken most often at home, Quebec, 1996 to 2006

The increase in Quebec's Anglophone population is primarily due to much fewer Anglophones leaving the province between 2001 and 2006 compared to the seven previous five-year periods. In particular, 34,000 Anglophones left Quebec between 2001 and 2006. At the same time, 26,000 Anglophones moved to Quebec primarily from Ontario, resulting in a net loss of 8,000.

The net loss for the previous five-year period was almost 30,000. The number of Anglophones moving to Quebec has not changed much since 1976, but the number of departures has clearly decreased. The net loss of 8,000 with English as their mother tongue is the smallest since 1966.

Most of the Anglophones who moved to Quebec between 2001 and 2006 were from Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. These are the same provinces that attracted most of the Anglophones who left Quebec between 1996 and 2001. This suggests that some return migration is probably taking place.

Table 13 Interprovincial migration by mother tongue in Quebec, 1966 to 2006

Anglophone immigrants made up 5% of recent immigrants (i.e., immigrants who landed in Canada since January 1, 2001) who were living in Quebec at the time of the 2006 Census, compared with 20% for Francophone immigrants and 75% for allophone immigrants. That is the smallest proportion of Anglophone recent immigrants since 1971. That year, 25% of recent immigrants to Quebec had English as their mother tongue, compared with 17% in 1981, 8% in 1991 and 6% in 2001.


  1. The situation of official language minorities will be studied in greater depth in an analytic report on the results of the Survey on the Vitality of Official-Language Minorities, which will be released on December 11, 2007.

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