Despite the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on arrivals to the country, Canada's percentage of foreign-born residents sits at a record 15 percent. This level of immigration has continued to enrich Canada's linguistic diversity.
English and French remain by far the most commonly spoken languages in Canada. More than 9 in 10 Canadians speak one of the two official languages at home at least on a regular basis.
The 2022 Census also found that 4.6 million Canadians speak predominantly a language other than English or French at home. These individuals represent 12.7% of the Canadian population, a proportion that has been increasing for 30 years. By comparison, the proportion was 7.7% in 1991, when immigration levels were rising.
In addition, one in four Canadians in 2022—or 9 million people—had a mother tongue other than English or French. This is a record high since the 1901 Census, when a question on mother tongue was first added.
Canada has a rich linguistic diversity. The languages known and spoken here are closely linked to the identity and culture of Canadians and to their relationship with their community. Languages are an integral part of the everyday lives of Canadians—be it in early childhood, at home, at school or at work—and extend beyond the country's borders into broader cultural and historical contexts.
The vast majority of the Canadian population commonly uses English and French, Canada's official languages, to communicate and access services. Although both are spoken throughout the country, English is a minority language in Quebec, while French is a minority language in the other provinces and territories, as well as in Canada as a whole.
There are more than 70 distinct Indigenous languages spoken in Canada.
LanguageLine Can Help
LanguageLine has a robust presence in Canada, where we are fortunate to work with healthcare providers, government agencies, and private businesses across the country. We would very much enjoy speaking with you about your interpretation and translation needs. Please contact us today for a free consultation or quote.