2010-07-19

Canadian Census and Language

Here are some clarifications concerning language and the census:

1. The short form ONLY asks what was the first language learned and still understood (aka, mother tongue) of individuals in the household. The short form DOES NOT ask what language you speak at home, what language you read at home, what language you watch TV at home, etc... Only 49.8% of the 2.476 million people in the City of Toronto had English as a mother tongue in 2006 (including 4095 people who wrote-in a French-English combo under "other"). That is similar to the 48.3% in the City of Vancouver and the 49.6% who had French as a mother tongue on the Island of Montreal (including the 15,000 English-French write-in combos).

2. The questions on the now optional long form are not known yet. Here is the questionnaire for the then mandatory 2006 census long form (given to 20% of general households and 100% of aboriginal reservation households). Questions 13, 14, 15, 16 and 48 relate to language. (I don't like question 13 and 14 (knowledge of second language) because they are incredibly subjective).

3. The 2011 census (mandatory short form) questions are known (scroll to the bottom for Census of population).

If you are looking for census information on Canadian's religion, it is only taken every 10 years. You can find the 2001 info here from the mandatory form sent to 20% of Canadian households (There were more Catholics (1.53M) than Protestants (1.22M) in the Toronto Census Metropolitan area (4.65M) in 2001!). Will the religion question be part of the 2011 optional survey (aka long form)? Maybe Harper and Day don't want the reminder that Evangelicals are only 0.2% of the Canadian population (that dinosaur thing is hard to swallow).
Update: (a few minutes later). There seems to be some confusion about evangelicals. Is it a Church, a type of Church? 0.2% applies specifically to the Evangelical Missionary Church. Harper belongs to an even more obscure Church that would be covered under "Protestants not covered elsewhere" (1.9%). People call him evangelical (with a small e) because of the type of church he belongs to.

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