1. Statistical snapshot
The Francophone community is facing numerous demographic challenges. Immigration, therefore, seems to be the principal challenge for the vitality and the dynamism of the Franco-Ontarian community, whose face is ever changing. In 2016, 92,385 Francophone immigrants made up 15% of the Francophone population of Ontario (622,41519 Francophones, 4.7% of the population of Ontario). Among those, 16,045 (17.4%) are new immigrants.20 Of all the Francophone immigrants, 63.5% are from a visible minority, and that number reaches 78.2% for new immigrants21.
However, the annual Francophone immigration rate does not reflect the demographic weight of the Franco- Ontarian community. In fact, since the establishment in 2012 of a 5% annual goal, this rate has seen many consecutive annual decreases: 3.4% in 2011, 3% in 2012, 2.5% in 2013, 2.2% in 2014, 1.9% in 2015 and a slight increase to 2.4% in 2016.22
The former Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration of Ontario23 identifies two main mitigating factors that have played a role in this drop: an increase in the total number of refugees and live-in caregivers, as well as a decrease in economic immigrants, which represent the principal immigration category for Francophones. Indeed, prior to 2011, 52.7% of Francophone immigration comes from the economic category, 22.3% are family-sponsored immigrants and 1.8% are from the other category. These numbers are respectively 50.6%, 20.8%, 25.4% and 3.2%, for the new immigrant population between 2011-2016.24
The “immigration period” variable25 offers a slightly different picture: at the moment, 2.4% of the province’s total immigrant population is Francophone, but when it comes to new immigrants, this number goes up to 3.4%. These numbers do not reflect the demographic weight of the Franco-Ontarian community. By looking at the table below, we can see that the more recent the immigrant population, the higher the number of Francophones in that immigrant population.
|Total immigrant population||Francophone immigrant population||Proportion of the Francophone immigrant population in the total immigrant population|
|1971 to 1979||396,270||6,655||1.7%|
|1980 to 1990||565,070||11,315||2.0%|
|1991 to 2000||834,510||18,115||2.2%|
|2001 to 2010||953,735||31,105||3.3%|
|2011 to 2016||472,170||16,045||3.4%|
Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Population Census
To explain this difference between the annual immigration rates and the snapshot by immigration period, one might wonder whether interprovincial mobility has benefited Ontario. Among the 92,385 Francophone immigrants living in Ontario in 2016, 1,700 came from Quebec the previous year and 355 from other Canadian provinces. When we look at the mobility group, these numbers are 4,830 and 800 respectively, over the five previous years.
As for age groups,26 the Francophone immigrant population is younger than the non-immigrant population, and that is even more accurate for new immigrants. In 2016, 15.9% of the non-immigrant Francophone population were aged 0 to 14, and 47.9% were aged 15 to 54.
The largest number of immigrants come from France (10.5%) and Haiti (8.5%). This is the same for new immigrants (11.3% and 10.9%). However, Africa constitutes the biggest Francophone immigration pool, with 36.1% of the Francophone immigrant population coming from that continent. That number goes up to 46.1% for new immigrants, in comparison to 26.2% and 18.1% for Europe. The main African countries that Francophone immigrants arrived from between 2011 to 2016 were the Congo (DRC) (8.8%), Cameroon (5.2%), Government of Mauritius (4.5%), Egypt (3.9%), Burundi (3.9%) and the Ivory Coast (3.6%).27 According to trends, it would seem that African immigrants represent the best potential, even while Europe remains a very interesting market. These data demonstrate the importance of targeted recruiting activities on both continents.
There are significant geographic disparities in the settlement of Francophone immigrants across Ontario, with a high concentration in the Eastern and Central regions (93.5% between them). In comparison, the Northeastern region, which accounts for 19.8% of Francophones in the province, only receives 1.2% of Francophone immigrants. The City of Ottawa (26,880 immigrants) and the Greater Toronto Area28 (49,490 immigrants) receive 82.7% of Francophone immigrants.
|Francophone population in the region||622,415||33,555||268,070||191,375||7,055||122,360|
|Francophone immigrant population||92,385||4,700||29,585||56,815||215||1,065|
|Proportion of immigrants within the region’s Francophone population||15.0%||14.2%||11.2%||30.2%||3.1%||0.9%|
|Proportion of Francophone immigrants in the region, within the entire Francophone immigrant population of the province||100.0%||5.1%||32%||61.5%||0.2%||1.2%|
|Francophone immigrant population arrived in the area between 2011 and 2016||16,045||960||5,055||9,835||45||150|
|Proportion of Francophone immigrants in the region within the total Francophone immigrant population of the province (2011-2016)||100.0%||6.0%||31.5%||61.3%||0.3%||0.9%|
Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Population Census.
- There are slight variations between census data from the long and short censuses. The immigration data come from the long census, that is, from a sample. To calculate proportions, we use the number 622,415 Francophones, which is the reference unit for the long census according to Ontario’s inclusive definition of Francophones. The variations in the proportions are very slight.
- In this text, the word “immigrants” refers to those who arrived between 2011 and 2016.
- For more details on the status of visible minorities, see the Appendices.
- For more details, see http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/811481/immigration-francophone-ontario (accessed in March 2018).
- For more details, see https://www.reseausoutien.org/Forum2017/Presentations_%20Forum%202017/4Presentation_Astrid_Jacques.pdf (accessed in March 2018).
- For more details on the immigration categories, see Appendix 3.
- The “immigration period” variable, which refers to the period in which immigrants received their landed immigrant or permanent resident statuses for the first time, does not tell which province an immigrant settled in first. However, in the absence of census data prior to 2011 adapted to the IDF, this is an indicator that allows a comparison over time.
- For more details on age groups, see Appendix 4.
- For more details on countries of origin, see Appendix 5.
- For the GTA, we used the census data for Toronto, Durham, Halton, Peel and York.