Issue 19-199 French Language

December 18, 2019

In 2016, Census data identified 64,320 individuals in British Columbia (1.4% of the total population) who indicated that French was their first official language. This is compared to the overall Canadian population (not including those who reside in institutions) where 22.2% identified French as their first official language.

Between 2001 and 2016, B.C.’s population increased by almost 18.9%, while there was only an 8.3% increase in those who identified French as their first official language.

Since 2001, the number of British Columbians who indicated they were fluent in both French and English increased by 16.9%. This proportion peaked in 2006 when 7.3% were bilingual compared to 6.8% in 2016.

In recent years, there has been a large boost in the number of British Columbians who report speaking French at home (+35.7% between 2001 and 2016). Similarly, in 2016, there were 10,340 people who reported speaking mostly French at home, an increase of almost 23.6% since 2001.

Data Source: Statistics Canada