PEI

Number of Islanders with French as 1st language falling again

The number of people reporting French as their first language on P.E.I. is declining again.

3.2% of Islanders reported French as 1st language in census

About half as many Islanders report French as a first language as did in 1971. (Jean-Luc Bouchard/Radio-Canada)

The number of people reporting French as their first language on P.E.I. has begun to decline again.

Statistics Canada reported the results from the 2016 census. It comes at a time when the French Language School Board is reporting record enrolments.

In 1971, 6.6 per cent of Islanders reported French as their first language. That number fell precipitously to a little over four per cent in 1981. It hovered around four per cent until it began to fall again in the 2011 census.

In 2016, only 3.2 per cent of Islanders reported French as their first language.

The last two censuses have also seen a marked increase in the number of Islanders reporting neither English nor French as their first language.

That number was approaching zero from 1971 to 2006. Following a surge in immigration starting in 2008, that number rose to 0.5 per cent in 2011 and 0.9 per cent in 2016.

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