Census shows language diversity on the rise in Red Deer

There’s a new top five for languages other than French and English spoken in the City

There’s a new top five for languages other than French and English spoken in Red Deer as a wider variety of languages overall were reported in the City, according to the latest federal census information released earlier this month.

On Aug. 2nd, Statistics Canada released its 2016 Federal Census information on languages but later corrected the information for release Aug. 17th, showing that linguistic diversity is on the rise across Canada.

In 2016, more than 112 non-official languages were reported as mother tongue in Red Deer, compared to 82 in the last census in 2011. By comparison, only 15 different languages were reported in Red Deer in 1986.

The top five most common immigrant languages other than English or French spoken at home have changed since 2011. In 2016 they were: 1) Tagalog (Pilipino; Filipino) 2) Spanish 3) Arabic 4) Ukrainian 5) Cantonese. In 2011 they were: 1) Tagalog 2) Spanish 3) German 4) Dutch 5) Chinese.

The proportion of those whose mother tongue is English had decreased slightly. In 2016, 85.2% spoke English compared to 88.1% in 2011. Accordingly, languages other than English and French are increasing with 14,840 people reported their mother tongue as other than the official languages (or 15% of the population) compared to 10,230 (11.4% of the population) in 2011.

“The data demonstrating Red Deer’s evolving demographics is enormously important to the City,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “As our population changes, we respond at the municipal level to ensure we are serving residents’ needs through City programming, services and communications. Our growing community of non-English speaking citizens also underscores our ongoing commitment to build community life for all through our welcoming and inclusive initiatives.”

More Statistics Canada 2016 Census information will be released in stages later this year, including information on income, housing and education.

– Fawcett

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