Immigrant language speaker population exploding on P.E.I.

The number of Prince Edward Islanders with a mother tongue that is not English or French is up almost 60 per cent since the 2011 census, a rate of growth close to four times the national rate.

Mandarin largest immigrant language group

The number of Islanders with a mother tongue that is not English or French was up almost 60 per cent. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

The number of Prince Edward Islanders with a mother tongue that is not English or French is up almost 60 per cent since the 2011 census, a rate of growth close to four times the national rate.

Statistics Canada released 2016 census figures on linguistic diversity on Wednesday.

Statistics Canada highlights Atlantic Canada as a region where linguistic diversity is growing particularly rapidly, but the P.E.I. increase since the 2011 census is close to double even the regional rate.

  • Canada: +14.5%
  • Atlantic Canada: +33.2%
  • P.E.I.: +57.7%

In total, the census found 7,665 Islanders with a mother tongue other than English or French, representing 5.4 per cent of the population. In the 2011 census there were 4,860 immigrant language speakers, or 3.5 per cent of the population.

Chinese language speaking population growing

Mandarin is the main immigrant language spoken on P.E.I.

The latest census found 2,290 Islanders where Mandarin was the main immigrant language spoken at home. The 2011 census found just 1,600 Islanders speaking all Chinese languages, including Cantonese and Hakka.

Only Ontario shares with P.E.I. Mandarin as a leading immigrant tongue. In the other three Atlantic provinces it is Arabic.