TORONTO : Punjabi has become the fourth most spoken language in Canada, registering a 49% growth in the last five years. According to the census data of 2021 released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday, Mandarin and Punjabi are the most spoken languages in the country after English and French.
Mandarin speakers number around 5.30 lakh and Punjabi speakers 5.20 lakh. However, Punjabi’s growth has been faster as the count of Mandarin speakers grew by 15% from 2016 to 2021, while the that of Punjabi speakers was 49% during the same period. Punjabi is way ahead of other Indian languages in Canada even though a few others have also registered fast growth rates. Toronto has 10% Punjabi speakers and Vancouver 19%.
The other places having predominant Punjabi speaking people are Edmonton, Calgary, Abbotsford-Mission, Kamloops and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo.
The report pointed out that while the Canadian population rose 5.2% during this period, driven mainly by immigration, the number of Canadians who predominantly spoke a South Asian language at home grew faster, “particularly speakers of Malayalam (+129% to 35,000 people), Hindi (+66% to 92,000 people), Punjabi (+49% to 520,000 people) and Gujarati (+43% to 92,000 people).