Census 2016 and the House of Commons: Mother Tongues

Census 2016 and the House of Commons: Mother Tongues

August 2, 2017 1:43pmET

New 2016 census data from Statistics Canada shows the language breakdown for each of Canada’s 338 ridings.

Use the below map to compare ridings and their residents’ mother tongues, defined as “the first language learned in childhood and still understood.”

Atlantic Canada is home to the 10 ridings with the highest percentage of English as a mother tongue:

Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, NL  99.14%
Avalon, NL  99.06%
Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, NL  99.03%
Long Range Mountains, NL  98.37%
St. John’s South—Mount Pearl, NL  96.68%
Cumberland—Colchester, NS  96.58%
South Shore—St. Margarets, NS  96.38%
Central Nova, NS  96.25%
Kings—Hants, NS  95.61%
Malpeque, PEI  95.07%


For French as a mother tongue, the top 10 ridings are found in Quebec:

Montmagny—L’Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC  97.82%
Lac-Saint-Jean, QC  97.77%
Jonquière, QC  97.69%
Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC  97.44%
Beauce, QC  97.31%
Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC  97.05%
Lévis—Lotbinière, QC  96.89%
Mégantic—L’Érable, QC  96.83%
Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC  96.77%
Berthier—Maskinongé, QC  96.77%


Which ridings had the highest percentage of Aboriginal languages as a mother tongue?

Nunavut  63.43%
Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC  31.61%
Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK  27.80%
Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MB  25.70%
Kenora, ON  16.42%
Northwest Territories  11.30%
Labrador, NL  9.36%
Manicouagan, QC  9.18%
Peace River—Westlock, AB  5.34%
Timmins—James Bay, ON  4.57%


The Toronto and Vancouver areas host the 10 ridings with the most people having a non-official, non-Aboriginal language as their mother tongue — from Arabic, German, and Italian to Cantonese, Punjabi, and Vietnamese:

Scarborough North, ON  66.41%
Scarborough—Agincourt, ON  66.04%
Markham—Unionville, ON  65.86%
Willowdale, ON  65.46%
Richmond Centre, B.C.  65.02%
Markham—Thornhill, ON  64.92%
Vancouver South, B.C.  63.05%
Don Valley North, ON  63.01%
Surrey—Newton, B.C.  60.95%
Richmond Hill, ON  60.60%


Federal ridings were redrawn in 2012 based on the 2011 census — with an additional 30 seats added to the House of Commons.

Riding-by-riding population numbers were released in February.

For more on the 2016 Census, here’s CPAC’s Danielle Young:

-Andrew Thomson