Asian languages most prevalent in Metro Vancouver after English

Surrey accounts for two-thirds of region's Punjabi speakers

Almost a third of Metro Vancouverites speak a language other than English most often at home, according to newly released census data.

The results from the 2011 count highlight the region’s growing cultural and linguistic diversity as a result of steady immigration from Asia.

The single most prevalent immigrant language in the region is Punjabi – accounting for nearly 147,000 speakers or 6.4 per cent of Metro Vancouver’s population of just under 2.3 million.

But Chinese languages make up much more if clumped together.

The census counted 133,000 Cantonese speakers (5.8 per cent), 92,000 Mandarin speakers (four per cent) and another 115,000 non-specifed Chinese speakers (five per cent) in Metro.

Philipine-based Tagalog is Canada’s fastest-growing language and is now spoken by three per cent of Metro Vancouver’s population, while the next top languages here are Korean (two per cent), Farsi, Spanish, German and Hindi (1.1 per cent.)

Just 58 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents speak only English at home, down from 65.2 per cent in 2001.

Increasingly, Metro residents are speaking both English and their mother tongue at home – that mixed use was reported by 24 per cent, up from 17.8 per cent a decade earlier.

Slightly more residents reported being unable to converse in the dominant official language.

Nearly 130,000 residents, or 5.7 per cent of the Metro population, indicated they could not speak English, up from five per cent in 2006.

More than seven per cent said they were officially bilingual, speaking both English and French, while just 0.1 per cent said French was their only official language.

Surrey is home to 94,000 South Asians who list Punjabi as their mother tongue – they make up 20 per cent of the city’s population and two-thirds of the Punjabi speakers in Metro Vancouver.

Half of Metro’s 23,000 Hindi speakers also live in Surrey.

Richmond is home to 23 per cent of Metro’s 330,000 residents who grew up speaking Chinese languages.

In Abbotsford-Mission, 69 per cent list English as their mother tongue and 79 per cent generally speak English only at home.

The census also counted 28,000 in Abbotsford-Mission whose mother tongue is Punjabi – 16.7 per cent of the population – while German was second at 6,500 or 3.9 per cent. Dutch, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese were next most common, at one per cent or less.

Just Posted

Council agrees to pay for fence around Mission Legion

Building has been hit by vandalism and grafitti

New Abbotsford transit depot one step closer, despite objections from neighbours

Residents worried about noise, light and effects of pile-driving on their foundations

VIDEO & PHOTOS: Iron Mountain Music Festival delights Mission music fans

Inaugural event featured two days on non-stop musical entertainment

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

PHOTOS: Mission firefighters help mentor kids

Big Brothers Big Sisters Local Heroes daycamp took place and kids on the waitlist had great fun

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Glow Langley returns bigger and brighter this Christmas

Organizers will also introduce Harvest Glow — a celebration of autumn

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

Most Read