Infographic: The English Presence in Quebec

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The English Presence in Quebec. Details in text following the infographic.
Text version: The English Presence in Quebec

Text version: The English Presence in Quebec

  • English is the first official language of 13.5% of the population (1,058,250 people).
  • 43% of the population (3,328,725 people) can speak both English and French.

98,152 students are registered in English-language public schools in Quebec.

3 English-language universities

  • McGill - Montréal
  • Concordia - Montréal
  • Bishop’s - Sherbrooke

Geographic distribution of the English-speaking population

Economic regions:

  • Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine: 0.9%
  • Bas-Saint-Laurent: 0.1%
  • Capitale-Nationale: 1.3%
  • Chaudière-Appalaches: 0.4%
  • Estrie: 2.2%
  • Centre-du-Québec: 0.3%
  • Montérégie: 15.1%
  • Montréal: 57.7%
  • Laval: 7.8%
  • Lanaudière: 1.2%
  • Laurentides: 3.4%
  • Outaouais: 6.3%
  • Abitibi-Témiscamingue: 0.5%
  • Mauricie: 0.3%
  • Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean: 0.2%
  • Côte-Nord: 0.5%
  • Nord-du-Québec: 2%

Where were they (anglophones) born?

  • In Quebec: 52%
  • Elsewhere in Canada: 12%
  • Abroad: 34%

Where were English-speaking immigrants born?

Most English-speaking immigrants in Quebec were born in Asia and Europe.

  • Asia: 41%
  • Africa: 7%
  • Europe: 32%
  • Americas: 19%
  • Other: 1%


September: On Townshippers’ Day, Anglo-Quebecers in the Eastern Townships gather to celebrate their vitality and creativity.

September: The Voice of English-speaking Québec holds a Fall Fest in Québec City each year to bring together families, community organizations and cultural groups.

April: The Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival brings people from different cultures and languages together to share the pleasures of reading and writing.


Following the British conquest of New France, the Treaty of Paris ceded the French colony to the British in 1763. The number of English-speaking settlers increased after the American Revolution, first with the arrival of the Loyalists from the American colonies in the south and later with the arrival of European immigrants.

The bilingual newspaper the Quebec Gazette was established in 1764 and is still publishing today as the English-language Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, Canada’s oldest newspaper. The 1841 School Act established a single educational system in Quebec and allowed minority groups to establish their own schools.

The 1970s saw a language crisis in Quebec, as tensions over the status of French in the public and private sector in Quebec came to a peak. In 1974, the Official Language Act (Bill 22) was enacted, making French the official language of Quebec and restricting access to school in English. Three years later, the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101) became provincial law, introducing new restrictions on English, notably as a language of work. In the 1970s and 1980s, more than 300,000 English-speaking Quebecers left Quebec for Ontario and other provinces.

The first English-speaking community regional association was founded in 1975 on the Gaspé peninsula (Committee for Anglophone Social Action).

Alliance Quebec was created in 1982. The group lobbied on behalf of English-speaking Quebecers until its closure in 2005.

Bill 142, which was passed in 1986, guaranteed access to health and social services in English. In 1996, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) was founded, bringing together 13 English-language regional and sectoral organizations. QCGN now counts nearly 50 members.


  • Statistics Canada, 2011 Census of Population
  • Statistics Canada, 2011 National Household Survey
  • Quebec English School Boards Association
  • Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network

More information

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