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Using Languages at Work in Canada, 2006 Census: Highlights

  • More than one language of work in Canada
    In 2006, close to 2.8 million Canadians reported using more than one language at work. They represented 15.0% of the population aged 15 and over who were employed between January 1, 2005 and May 16, 2006. This was a slight increase over 2001 (14.6% or 2.5 million individuals), the first census that collected statistics on language of work.
  • Francophone workers outside Quebec
    Outside Quebec, 69% of the 577,000 Francophone workers reported using French at work. French was the language that 40% of them used most often in both 2006 and 2001, whereas 29% of them used it regularly, an increase over 2001 (27%). This indicates a slight overall increase compared to 2001 (67%).
  • Immigrant workers in Quebec
    In 2006, the use of French was on the rise among immigrant workers in Quebec. Of the 507,000 workers born outside the country, 65% used French most often (alone or with another language) at work. This represented an increase compared to the percentage observed in 2001 (63%).
  • Allophone immigrant workers
    The use of French was also on the rise among allophone immigrant workers in Quebec compared to 2001 figures. Among allophones, who represented approximately 70% of all immigrant workers in Quebec, 63% reported using French alone or with another language most often at work in 2006. In 2001, this proportion was closer to 60%.
  • Anglophone workers
    In 2006, Anglophones in Quebec used French at work more than in 2001. Whereas 68% of them reported using French at work in 2006 (32% most often alone or with another language, and 36% regularly), 65% had done so five years before.
  • Workers on the Island of Montréal
    In the census division of Montréal (or Island of Montréal), the use of French at work by Anglophones reached 65% in 2006 (24% most often and 41% regularly), compared to 64% in 2001.

    While the use of French most often at home throughout the Island of Montréal had decreased since 2001, its use at work remained virtually unchanged. In 2006, 58% of workers living on the Island of Montréal used French most often at home, compared to 60% five years earlier. The proportion of those using French most often at work remained the same at 69% for both census years.
  • Allophone workers in Canada as a whole
    The use of non-official languages at work fell slightly among Canadians whose mother tongue was neither English nor French in all provinces and territories, with the exception of British Columbia. Whereas in 2001, 23% of allophones used a language other than English or French at work (11% most often, 12% regularly), this proportion was 22% in 2006.

    The rising numbers of allophone immigrants over the past five years did not lead to an increase in the use of non-official languages at work by allophone immigrants as a whole.

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