Francophone minority communities

More new immigrants are settling in Francophone minority communities

Today, January 23, 2023, Canada reported that it achieved its target of 4.4% of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec in 2022. During that year, more than 16,300 new immigrants settled in Francophone minority communities across Canada. This is the largest number of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec that the country has welcomed since the data began to be recorded.

“Today, we are showing that Francophone immigration is at the heart of the values that make Canada rich, both culturally and through the distinct character of its 2 official languages. We have achieved our target. It is a significant milestone and reflects the importance and contribution of French-speaking immigrants to the vitality and development of Francophone communities outside Quebec.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship 

Admissions outside Quebec

During the first census year in 2006, the number of admissions of French-speaking residents outside Quebec was just over 2,800 (1.38%). Therefore, the achievement of the target of 4.4% of admissions outside Quebec represents a significant jump of 3.02 percentage points (from 1.38% to 4.4%) between 2006 and 2022. But, what about the other years?

Here’s the breakdown of that data provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

YearTargetPreliminary estimate of new immigrants

Over the past 5 years, the number of Francophone immigrants to francophone minority communities outside of Quebec has increased by 42,470 permanent residents. According to IRCC’s news release, these newcomers contribute to the development of those communities. Moreover, they add to the diversity of Canada’s cultural and linguistic landscape. In addition, they help strengthen the economy of the communities in which they have settled.

“Francophone immigration plays a key role in restoring the demographic weight of Francophone minority communities, in addition to contributing closely to the economic development of our country.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages 

Why is it important for Canada to increase the number of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec?

The vast majority of the Canadian population commonly uses English and French, Canada’s official languages, to communicate and access services. English is spoken by just over three in four Canadians. This proportion increased from 74.8% in 2016 to 75.5% in 2021. However, the proportion of French speakers fell from 22.2% in 2016 to 21.4% in 2021.

From 2016 to 2021, the number of Canadians who speak mostly French at home increased in Quebec, British Columbia and Yukon, but decreased in the other provinces and territories. Therefore, in 2019, IRCC released “Meeting Our Objectives: Francophone Immigration Strategy,” with one of its objectives being to reach a target of 4.4% of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec by 2023. 

<<The 10 most spoken (non-official) languages ​​in Canada>>

About the Welcoming Francophone Communities initiative

The Welcoming Francophone Communities initiative includes 14 areas in Canada.

Province or territoryCommunity
Prince Edward IslandÉvangéline Region
Nova ScotiaMunicipality of the District of Clare
New BrunswickHaut-Saint-Jean
Newfoundland and LabradorLabrador City-Wabush
Ontario EastHawkesbury
Ontario NorthSudbury
Southwest and central OntarioHamilton
ManitobaSeine River Region
SaskatchewanMoose Jaw and Gravelbourg
British ColumbiaPrince George
Northwest TerritoriesYellowknife

These areas or communities were selected to welcome and support French-speaking newcomers in their plans to live in Canada. To find out what the Welcoming Francophone Communities initiative has available for you, visit:

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    Andrea Neira