Geography

In 2006, the Acadian and Francophone community of Nova Scotia included 32,940 people with French as their first official language spoken. These French-speaking Nova Scotians accounted for 3.6 percent of the total population of the province.

Acadians are concentrated in two main regions: Cape Breton Island and the south coast of the province. When Halifax - which accounts for the largest number of Francophones in the province - is added, these three areas account for over 85 percent of Nova Scotia's French-speaking community. Certain regions of the province are also home to a significant concentration of Acadians, who are the majority in the municipality of Clare (Digby county) and account for close to 50 percent of the population in Argyle (Yarmouth county). There they have developed a diversified network of institutions which support a vibrant cultural life and an active community. In Cape Breton, French enjoys a strong status on Île Madame and Acadians account for over 40 percent of the population north of Inverness, where they form the core of many villages such as Cheticamp.

Nova Scotia Francophones are essentially a rural population even though 10,730 people with French as their first spoken official language live in the Halifax Metropolitan region. There are close to 1,000 Francophones in the regional municipality of Cape Breton Island (Sydney), an industrial centre which has become the principal centre for services for northern Cape Breton Island. Although Acadians represented only 3.6 percent of the province's total population in 2006, their local concentration gives them political strength that compensates for their small numbers.