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

In 2006, the population with French mother tongue declined to below 80% in Quebec for the first time since 1931. This is primarily due to high allophone immigration and small Anglophone losses in migration exchanges with the rest of Canada. Between 1996 and 2001, the French mother-tongue proportion of the Quebec population was virtually unchanged, declining slightly from 81.5% to 81.4%. In 2006, it is 79.6%. The proportion of people who use French most often at home followed the same downward trend, falling from 83.1% in 2001 to 81.8% in 2006.

Table 11 Population of French mother tongue and population of French as the language spoken most often at home, Quebec, 1996 to 2006

The increase in the number of allophone immigrants reduced the proportion of the majority population in the other provinces as well. In Ontario, for example, the proportion of the population with English mother tongue declined from 71.3% in 2001 to 69.1% in 2006. In addition, the proportion of the province's residents who usually speak English at home was down, from 82.7% in 2001 to 81.4% in 2006.

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