Demographic Vitality

The French language


Of some 134,000 residents of the province, a little over 8,300 do not have English as a mother tongue. Residents with French as their mother tongue account for 4.36% of the total population while the province has 3,100 residents with a non-official language as their mother tongue.
 

Population by Mother Tongue, 2006, Prince Edward Island

Population by Mother Tongue, 2006, Prince Edward Island

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

French 5,875
English 125,875
Non-official languages 3,100
Total population 134,205

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, Prince Edward Island

Population by First Official Language Spoken, 2006, Prince Edward Island

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

French 5,180
English 129,075
Neither English nor French 40

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

A stable population ...


After a period of demographic erosion caused by the emigration of young Francophone adults, the Prince Edward Island population with French as mother tongue has remained stable in the past 25 years (from 5,835 in 1981 to 5,875 in 2006). Employment opportunities for educated young people, which were few and far between in rural areas until the late 1970s, have increased substantially since then, driven by a significant Francophone take-charge movement, evident in community organization, entrepreneurship and the institutional network.

However, there has been a slight decrease in the number of Islanders with French as their first official language spoken (from 5,330 in 2001 to 5,180 in 2006).

...and a relatively stable percentage


From 1951 to 1991, the percentage of residents with French as their mother tongue on the Island tumbled from 8.6% to 4.5%, a percentage that has remained roughly the same since. Over the past 15 years, the percentage of Islanders with French as their first official language spoken has decreased from 4.2% to 3.9%.

Francophones (with French as their first official language spoken) represent about 8% of the population in Prince County, and they are mostly concentrated in the Evangeline area. Acadians and Francophones are the majority in some areas, and they account for close to 10% of the population in a number of others. The fact that there are high percentages of Francophones in these regions gives them significant political influence.
 

French as Mother Tongue and French as First Official Language Spoken, 1951?]2006, Prince Edward Island

French as Mother Tongue and French as First Official Language Spoken, 1951?]2006, Prince Edward Island

Data from: Marmen and Corbeil, 2004 and Statistics Canada

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

An aging population


The median age of Prince Edward Island's Acadian community is 48 years, the highest in the Atlantic provinces. It is also higher than the median age of the population as a whole, which is 40 years.

Basic renewal is a challenge for the Acadians and Francophones on the Island. However, they can count on a larger proportion of people of working age, who are able to be significantly involved in the province's socio-economic activities.
 

Age Distribution, 2006, Francophones, Prince Edward Island

Age Distribution, 2006, Francophones, Prince Edward Island

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census