Explosion in number of English-speaking residents in rural areas raises doubts

An unexplained increase in the number of English-speaking Quebecers in the regions has raised doubts about the reliability of the 2016 census numbers released last week.

The population with English as their mother tongue, or as language spoken at home, exploded in cities across Quebec according to the 2016 census data analyzed by Montreal researcher Jack Jedwab.

More than half of the increase of 5,325 people in the English-speaking population was reported outside of Montreal, in cities with strong Francophone majorities, such as Rimouski (+164%), Saguenay (+115%), Drummondville (+110%), Trois-Rivières (+69%) or Shawinigan (+77%).

Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, made this surprising discovery while searching through Statistics Canada’s data, which was published online last week. This increase in the English-speaking population in rural areas seems so unlikely that he is calling for an investigation into the reliability of the data.

Read the full article in Le Devoir (in French)