English and French are the official languages of Canada. Both of these languages have equal status in parliament, courts, and federal institutions. Check out our Languages of the World section to learn more about languages.
English is spoken by the majority of the people in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, approximately 60 percent of the population of the country speaks English. The language is predominant in the country, except Quebec where a majority of the people speak French.
French, the other official language of Canada, is the sole official language of the province of Quebec. French is spoken by 21 percent of the population of the country. However, an estimated 85 percent of the French-speaking population resides in Quebec. Outside, of Quebec, the largest French-speaking population can be found in the province of Ontario. Other provinces with significant French speakers are Alberta, Manitoba, and New Brunswick. An estimated 98.2 percent of the people have knowledge of either one or both the official languages, according to the 2011 census.
Canada is a huge nation comprising of people from different nationalities. Thus, apart from these two languages, many other languages are spoken in the country which includes immigrant and Aboriginal languages. In Canada, where there is a total of 196 languages spoken, some other commonly spoken languages are Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish, German, and Italian.
There are many rich indigenous languages prevalent in the country and 0.6 percent of the people report these languages as their mother tongue. There are 11 indigenous language groups in the country. These are made up of more than 65 distinct languages and dialects. A couple of provinces also consider some indigenous languages as their official languages along with English and French. In Nunavut, which is the northernmost territory of the country, apart from English and French, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun are the official languages. In the Northwest Territories, along with the two official languages, there are nine other official languages.