Canadians who know English and French earn more: census

Canadians who speak English and French earn more money, according to Statistics Canada’s 2021 census data released last week.

The average income for people who spoke both English and French in Canada was $60,550, almost 10% higher than the average for people who spoke only English at $55,250 and about 40% more than that of people who spoke only French at $43,040.

The income gaps, although variable, could be observed in all Canadian provinces, with the most pronounced difference being in the cities of Quebec.

According to census data, a speaker of English and French in Montreal earned on average 40% more than a person who spoke only one of these languages.

Regardless of whether the employees spoke only one of the languages, the two groups in Montreal earned an average of $43,280 per year compared to their peers who spoke both languages, who earned an average of $60,650.

In Toronto, employees who spoke only English earned an average of $59,600, while Anglophone and Francophone employees earned an average of $78,400, a difference of almost 32%.

Among the other provinces, cities in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Manitoba had the largest income gaps between those who spoke both English and French and those who spoke only one of the two.

Other data shows a decline in the number of French speakers across the country.

Another 2021 StatCan census found that the proportion of Canadians who list French as their mother tongue decreased between 2016 and 2021 in all provinces except the Yukon.

There has also been increased linguistic diversity in Canada, with a record high this year for the number of Canadians whose first language was neither English nor French.

According to Statistics Canada, speaking both English and French, despite an increase in income, is declining in all provinces of Canada except Quebec.

The percentage of people speaking English and French in Quebec increased from 44.5 to 46.4% in 2016, and the three Canadian cities with the highest rates of people speaking English and French were Gatineau, Montreal and Quebec.

The release of census data follows the adoption by Quebec of a new language law that limits access to bilingual services offered by the provincial government.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault faced backlash in June for sounding the alarm about a drop in the proportion of people who speak French at home.

With files from The Canadian Press

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