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1 Percent Who Cannot Speak English or French
Description | Specific Indicators | Corresponding Mandatory Objectives | Corresponding National Indicators | Data Sources | Survey Questions | Alternative Data Sources | Analysis Check List | Method of Calculation | Basic Categories | Indicator Comments | Cross-References to Other Sections | References

  • Percent of population who cannot speak English or French

Specific Indicators

  • Percent who cannot speak English or French

Corresponding Mandatory Objectives

  • None

Corresponding National Indicators

  • None

Data Sources (see Resources: Data Sources)
Numerator & Denominator: Canadian Census
Original source:
Statistics Canada
Distributed by:

  1. Health Planning Branch, Ontario MOHLTC
  2. Statistics Canada

Suggested citation (see Data Citation Notes):
[year] Census, Statistics Canada

Survey Questions
Question 13 from the 2001 Census: Can this person speak English or French well enough to conduct a conversation?

Analysis Check List

  • None

Method of Calculation

number of persons who cannot speak English or French (NEF)
total non-institutional population (TNP)


number of persons who cannot speak English or French

x 100

total non-institutional population

Basic Categories

  • Geographic areas: health planning region, public health unit, district health council, census division, and census sub-division.

Indicator Comments

  • Data from 1981 onwards is based on a 20% sample of the non-institutional population.
  • Among persons who are members of cultural communities, those who cannot speak English or French are those who have been least subjected to the acculturation process. They may have different demographic, social, economic and health characteristics.
  • Question wording must be considered when comparing data over time.
  • Consider non-response rates as part of the calculation.

Allophone – Someone who cannot speak English or French.

Cross-References to Other Sections

  • None


  1. Statistics Canada. 2001 Census Dictionary. Ottawa, ON: Ministry of Industry, 2002. Available from: URL:
  2. Harrison B. Non parlo né Inglese, né Francese, "I can't speak English or French". Canadian Social Trends 1993;31:26-28.


Date of Last Revision: May 18, 2006 .

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