- With an increase of 49% over past 5-yrs, Punjabi is now 4th most spoken language in Canada
- The number of Punjabi speakers has grown more quickly than Mandarin speakers in Canada
- Between 2016 and 2021, the number of Punjabi speakers increased by 49 per cent to 5,20,000
With an increase of 49% over the past five years, Punjabi is now the fourth most spoken language in Canada. According to census data of 2021 released by Statistics Canada, Mandarin and Punjabi are the two languages that are most commonly spoken in the nation after English and French, which are also its two official languages.
However, the number of Punjabi speakers has grown more quickly than Mandarin speakers. Between 2016 and 2021, the number of Punjabi speakers increased by 49% to 5,20,000, whereas the number of Mandarin speakers expanded more slowly, by 15% to 531,000.
In Canada, other Indian languages are thriving as well. Hindi speakers increased by 66% to 92,000, whereas Gujarati speakers remained at the same number but increased by a much smaller 43%, according to reports. The number of speakers of Malayam increased by 129% to 35,000, placing it next on the list.
A StatCan press release stated that immigration was mostly to blame for the sudden increase in the number of speakers of some languages. Additionally, it stated that 20% of Canadians who became permanent residents between May 2016 and December 2020 were born in India.
Overall, since 2016, there has been a 16% increase in the number of Canadians who speak non-official languages at home, from 4.0 million to 4.6 million.
According to the statement, immigration has continued to enhance Canada's linguistic variety "despite the effect that the Covid-19 outbreak has had on arrivals to the nation."
The percentage of people who speak English as their first language in Canada is increasing, from 74.8% in 2011 to 75.5% in 2021. However, usage of the other official language, French, has decreased from 22.2% to 21.4%. Some reports claim that The percentage of people who are fluent in both official languages stayed constant at 18%.