Francophone Diversity

A variety of roots


Only one Francophone in eight was born in British Columbia. Most were born elsewhere in Canada and make up the majority of the community (57 percent). Twenty-nine percent were born outside Canada.

British Columbia's Francophone community is thus very culturally diverse and has roots all across the country; for this reason, it has developed close ties with Francophone communities in other provinces and territories.

This cultural diversity is due in part to the significant increase in the number of Francophones from other countries. In 2001, this group represented only 14 percent of the Francophone community - it has increased by more than 100 percent in the last five years.

It should also be noted that over 2,600 British Columbians with French as their first spoken official language declared they are of aboriginal identity.
 

Place of Birth, 2006, Francophones, British Columbia

Place of Birth, 2006, Francophones, British Columbia

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

A Francophonie that is more diverse


Statistics show that 15.1 percent of the French-speaking immigrants who chose one of Canada's Francophone and Acadian communities as their place of residence actually settled in British Columbia.

People of European and Asian origin are particularly well-represented within this group. Most Asian immigrants come from Southeastern Asia, which is not surprising in a province which faces the Pacific Ocean.

The large number of immigrants joining the Francophone community in British Columbia is both a challenge and an opportunity for the community. This challenge is especially obvious in the French-language schools and for the associations that offer products and services to this population group.
 

Francophone Immigrants, 2006, British Columbia

Francophone Immigrants, 2006, British Columbia

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Note: These are people who have been granted immigrant status in Canada, whose first known official language is French.

A recent phenomenon


Francophone immigration in the province is a fairly recent phenomenon. Over 39 percent of all French-speaking immigrants settled after 1996 ; many of them are of Asian origin, reinforcing the already significant presence of these Francophones within the community.
 

Francophone Immigrants by Immigration Period, British Columbia

Francophone Immigrants by Immigration Period, British Columbia

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Challenges that are being addressed


British Columbia's Francophone community has developed several initiatives to encourage and support immigration in the province. For example, the website www.vivreencolombiebritannique.ca is designed specifically for French-speaking immigrants in British Columbia and those interested in settling in the province.

Since the fall of 2008, Vancouver also offers the services of the Agence Francophone pour l'accueil des immigrants (AFAI). Its goal is to help immigrants gain access to French language services and programs.