Demographic Vitality

The French language


New Brunswick is divided into two large language groups. Of the 719,645 residents, two thirds have English as their mother tongue and first spoken official language. The rest are practically all Francophones. There are very few residents of the province who have a non-official language as mother tongue. After English and French, the most common mother tongue is Mi'kmaq, with 2,515 speakers.
 

Population by Mother Tongue, 2006, New Brunswick

Population by Mother Tongue, 2006, New Brunswick

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census


French 237,575
English 468,225
Non-official languages 19,025
Total population 719,645


Note: Some people declared having more than one mother tongue. As a result,
the total of the categories exceeds provincial population.



Population by First Official Language Spoken, 2006, New Brunswick

Population by First Official Language Spoken, 2006, New Brunswick

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census


French 236,100
English 484,815
Neither English nor French 680


Note: Some people have more than one first official language spoken.
As a result, the total of the categories exceeds provincial population.

A slight drop in numbers...


The French-speaking population of New Brunswick dropped slightly from the 2001 to the 2006 Census. The number of persons reporting French as their mother tongue fell from 242,070 in 2001 to 237,575 in 2006, and the number with French as their first spoken official language fell from 239,280 to 236,100 over the same period. The decline is partly attributable to Francophone migration to other provinces, especially Quebec. Note, however, that the number of New Brunswick residents reporting French as their mother tongue climbed steadily between 1951 and 1991, growing from 185,110 to 237,575 over that 45-year period. This shows that the Francophone community is a dynamic one and that linguistic transfer did not affect it very much. From 1991 to 2001, the population with French as mother tongue was very stable.
 

... But percentages are holding steady


Acadians make up about a third of the population of New Brunswick. Their percentage of the total population has slightly decreased since 1951. The greatest decrease was from 35.9% in 1951 to 33.8% in 1971. Since then, because of a very active community life and a favourable political context, the percentage of Francophones has remained between 32% and 34%.

Acadians are geographically concentrated in certain areas of New Brunswick. They are in the majority in 4 out of 15 census divisions.
 

French as Mother Tongue and French as First Official Language Spoken,
1951-2006, New Brunswick


French as Mother Tongue and French as First Official Language Spoken, 1951-2006, New Brunswick

Data from: Marmen and Corbeil, 2004 and Statistics Canada

*The first official language spoken variable did not exist prior to 1991

Age profile


The Acadian community of New Brunswick is aging, as is typical of countries with developed economies. The age profile of the Francophone and Acadian population is similar to that of the provincial population as a whole, with a median age very close to the provincial one (43 years compared with 41 years). However, there are fewer young Francophones, and this could upset the demographic balance between the two linguistic groups within a relatively short period of time.
 

Age Distribution, 2006, Francophones, New Brunswick

Age Distribution, 2006, Francophones, New Brunswick

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census