Statistics Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada
Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Using Languages at Work in Canada, 2006 Census: Canada

Slight increase in the number of workers using more than one language at work

In 2006, close to 2.8 million Canadians reported using more than one language at work, or 15% of the population aged 15 and over who were employed between January 1, 2005 and May 16, 2006. This was a slight increase compared to 2001 (14.6% or 2.5 million individuals), the first census that collected statistics on language of work.

Francophones and allophones were more likely than Anglophones to use more than one language at work. Across Canada, the use of more than one language at work rose slightly compared to 2001 among Francophones, from 32.9% to 33.6%, and remained steady at 4% among Anglophones. In contrast, there was a slight decrease among allophones using more than one language, from 25.6% to 25.0%, between the two census years (see Table A1.3).

In this analysis, Francophones are individuals whose mother tongue is French, Anglophones are those whose mother tongue is English, and allophones are those whose mother tongue is neither English nor French. The statistics on languages used at work refer to those spoken, read and written at work.

A language is used most often at work when it is used either predominantly or equally with one or more other languages. If it is not used most often at work, it may still be used on a regular basis. The general use of a language combines its predominant use or on an equal basis with other languages with its regular use.

In 2006, English was used at work by 85% of Canadians (78% most often, 7% regularly). French was used by almost 26% of Canadians (22% most often, 4% regularly). As for using other languages at work, close to 5% of Canadians reported doing so at work (2% most often, 3% regularly). These proportions were the same in 2001.

In Canada, the use of English in the workplace, at least on a regular basis, hovers around 99% in all provinces and territories with the exception of Quebec, New Brunswick and Nunavut, where the proportions are 40%, 88% and 91% respectively. Moreover, in these two provinces and one territory, English is used most often by 17%, 76% and 71% of the population, respectively.

In 2006, the use of English in the workplace, at least on a regular basis (85.0%), saw a slight increase from 2001 (84.7%) in the country as a whole. This was also the case in New Brunswick, Quebec and Nunavut (see Table A3.4).

Since 2001, across Canada, the use of French at work by Francophones rose slightly, from 94.3% (87.4% used it most often, 6.9% did so regularly) to 94.9% (87.8% most often, 7.1% regularly). The use of French by Anglophones remained steady at 4%, 1% most often and 3% regularly (see Tables A1.2).

As for allophones, the use of both English and that of another non-official language most often at work fell slightly. One the other hand, the use of French most often in the workplace by allophones as a group in the country saw an increase. This increased to 8.7% in 2006 compared to 7.8% in 2001, due mainly to the increase in the use of French at work among allophones in Quebec (see Tables A1.2). The use of English most often at work by allophones decreased from 86.4% to 85.7% during this period, while the use of languages other than English or French declined to 10.0%, compared to 10.7% five years earlier.

Across Canada, 22% of allophones reported using a language other than English or French at work in 2006 (10% most often, 12% regularly). This is a slight decrease since 2001, when 23% of them had reported using another language (11% most often, 12% regularly) (see Tables A1.4).

Between 2001 and 2006, the number of allophones aged 15 and over who were employed between the start of the year before the census and Census Day rose by close to 600,000, from 17% to 19% of workers.

previous gif  Previous page | Table of contents | Next page  next gif