Demographic Vitality

The French language


The population of Nova Scotia is quite homogeneous in terms of language. Of the province's 903,085 residents, barely 67,305 do not have English as a mother tongue. Francophones make up 3.8 percent of the total population while close to 35,000 Nova Scotians have a non-official language as a mother tongue.
 

Population by Mother Tongue, 2006, Nova Scotia

Population by Mother Tongue, 2006, Nova Scotia

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

French 34,920
English 835,785
Non-official languages 36,340
Total population 903,085

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




Population by First Official Language Spoken, 2006, Nova Scotia

Population by First Official Language Spoken, 2006, Nova Scotia

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

French 32,940
English 870,280
Neither French nor English 1,300

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

A slight decrease in population...


There were 34,920 Nova Scotians with French as their mother tongue in 2006. This indicates a slight decrease compared with previous censuses, while remaining inside the average - between 1951 and 2001, the number of Nova Scotians with French as their mother tongue has varied from 35,000 to 40,000.

Furthermore, 32,940 Nova Scotians have French as their first official language spoken (regardless of mother tongue). This number has not varied significantly in the last few years.

... but stable percentages


Following a period when the strong increase in Anglophones resulted in a significant decrease of the proportion of Acadians, there currently seems to be a period of stability. Nova Scotians with French as their first spoken official language account for 3.6 percent of the population, which is quite close to the percentage for 2001.

Francophones represent at least 15 percent of the population in four of Nova Scotia's 18 counties (Digby, Inverness, Richmond and Yarmouth). The Acadian population is highly concentrated and Acadians are in the majority in some municipalities. Their impact and presence in the daily life of Nova Scotia's Acadian areas is much stronger than their percentage of the provincial population would suggest.
 

French as Mother Tongue and French as First Official Language Spoken, 1951-2006, Nova Scotia

French as Mother Tongue and French as First Official Language Spoken, 1951-2006, Nova Scotia

Data from: Marmen and Corbeil, 2004 and Statistics Canada

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


A largely adult population


The median age of the Acadian population is 48 years, compared to 42 years for the population in general. The proportion of younger people in the Acadian community is relatively low. Replenishing their population base is a challenge for Nova Scotia's Acadians. A large percentage of them are, however, of working age and able to actively participate in the socio-economic life of the province.
 

Age Distribution, 2006, Francophones, Nova Scotia

Age Distribution, 2006, Francophones, Nova Scotia

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census