Bilingual rates are up, but not outside Quebec

It’s mostly young Canadians that are bilingual and the rise in numbers is mostly located in Quebec.
Quinn Patrick Montreal, QC

There has been a rise in the number of bilingual Canadians, but it’s mostly Quebecers according to a recent article in the Montreal Gazette.

A census report from Statistics Canada conducted back in 2016 revealed that 17.9 percent of Canadians said they are able to have a conversation in both English and French.  That was the highest percentage ever recorded by the federal agency.

It’s mostly young Canadians that are bilingual and the rise in numbers is mostly located in Quebec.

That number rose by 19 percent, up from 16 percent between 2006-2016.  That was among Canadian children aged 5 to 17.

That number has risen yet again to 27 percent for that same group now aged 15-27.

In Quebec alone, the number of bilingual citizens for that age group has risen from 28 percent to 66 percent over the last decade.

New Brunswick has also seen a significant increase among that same age bracket.  Fifty percent of the province’s inhabitants were bilingual as of 2016, up from only 37 percent back in 2006.

Quebecers also appear to retain their bilingualism once they’ve learned both languages as well. Ninety-four percent of Quebec youth that were surveyed back in 2006 were still bilingual in 2016. Conversely, outside of Quebec, only one-third of youth who were bilingual in 2006 remained bilingual in 2016.

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