Fast figures on Canada’s official languages (2011)

NumberFootnote 2 Percentage (%)
Total population by mother tongueFootnote 1 33,121,168 100.0%
English as mother tounge 19,137,513 57.8%
French as mother tounge 7,172,558 21.7%
Non-official languages as mother tounge 6,811,096 20.6%
Total population by knowledge of official languages 33,121,175 100.0%
Knowledge of English only 22,564,665 68.1%
Knowledge of French only 4,165,015 12.6%
Knowledge of English and French 5,795,575 17.5%
Knowledge of Neither English nor French 595,920 1.8%
Total population by first official language spokenFootnote 1 33,121,170 100.0%
English spoken first 24,846,713 75.0%
French spoken first 7,691,703 23.2%
Neither English nor French spoken first 582,755 1.8%
Total population by language spoken most often at homeFootnote 1 33,121,175 100.0%
English spoken most often at home 21,975,687 66.3%
French spoken most often at home 6,963,762 21.0%
Non-official languages spoken most often at home 4,181,727 12.6%


The data used to create this table has been taken from Statistics Canada’s GeoSearch 2011. (Statistics Canada. 2012. GeoSearch. 2011 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-14-XWE. Ottawa, Ontario. Data updated October 24, 2012.)



Mother tongue:
First language learned at home during childhood and still understood by the individual at the time of the census. Multiple responses were distributed equally among the languages reported.
Knowledge of official languages:
Ability to conduct a conversation in English only, in French only, in both English and French, or in neither English nor French. It should be noted that the data from this question focuses on self-assessment rather than actual use of language.
First official language spoken:
A derived variable taking into account the knowledge of English and French, the mother tongue and the home language. The numbers under the category “English and French” were distributed equally between the English category and the French category.
Language spoken most often at home:
Language spoken most often at home by the individual at the time of the census. Multiple responses were equally distributed among the languages reported.

Definitions have been taken or adapted from: Statistics Canada, 2012. Census Dictionary, Census year, 2011, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-301-X2011001.

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions

Statistics Canada has issued an advisory concerning the comparability of 2011 Census data from previous censuses regarding mother tongue and language spoken most often at home. For more information visit The Daily, 2011 Census of Population: Linguistic Characteristics of Canadians, October 24, 2012.


Footnote 1

After distribution of multiple responses. For more information, please see definitions section.

Return to first footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

The difference between the totals of certain variables and the total responses is due to the rounding of partial numbers to whole numbers after the distribution of multiple responses. For information about the rounding methods used by Statistics Canada in its census tabulations, please see Statistics Canada, Data Quality and Confidentiality Standards and Guidelines.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Date modified: