Friday, October 07, 2005

Language, Part 3 - Correction

In my last post earlier this week, I rattled off some numbers in paragraph two in a haste to publish the next in the series. I had studied the demographics a few months ago and the numbers cited were from my recollection. Here are the correct demographics for the island. I used the 1996 Census results from the City of Montreal webpage. There is a study done more recently, but the raw census numbers gave more info. I hope this is of use or of interest to you.

Although there is a common notion here that the island splits into east and west sections either at St. Laurent or downtown, it seems the island splits more into three sections with a couple exceptions. There is the west island west of the Chomedey expressway. There is the east island east of Papineau. And there is the center section between the other two.

The island as a whole. Consistently around the island the allophones (those who's mother tongue is neither English or French) stands between 25% and 30%. Francophones (mother tongue French) make up 54% of the island and anglophones (mother tongue English) make up 19%. Among the allophones, Italian is 6.3%, Spanish at 2.9%, Arabic at 2.6%, Chinese 1.7%, Greek 1.5%, Creole 1.5%, Portugese 1.2%, and Vietnamese 1.0%. As an interesting side note, Blacks make up only 5.7%. I know they are about 10% in the US with higher concentrations in the major cities. So I would guess there are four times less blacks here that back in the US. This is in reference to a previous post on my preceived lack of racism.

Breakdown by city sections. Not including the allophones, the percentages of anglophone and francophones are: 63.3%/36.7% on the west island, 27.4%/72.6% in the center, and 6.8%/93.2% on the east island. Regarding bilingualism the rate is 65.3% in the west, 56.4% in the center, and 44,5% in the east. For those who can speak only English, 25% of the west island can only speak English, 15.4% in the center, and 4.5% in the east. French breaks down 7.8% in the west, 25% in the center, and 47.3% in the east. So you can see that it generally does have the east/west division with a leaning toward French all over the island. Another side note, the anglophone/francophone division in Longueil on the south shore is 10%/90% to strength the point in the last post of how French become dominant off the island.

The exceptions. Hampsted and Westmont were grouped with the west island because they have the highest anglophone populations and lowest francophone populations. Notre-Dame-de-Grace (NDG) is almost equally balanced between the three groups and has an unusually high concentration of English only citizens. St-Laurent, Villeray, St-Michel, Parc-Extension, and St-Leonard have high allophone populations. I'll elaborate on that in the next paragraph. Although Ahuntsic and Cartierville are in the center, they have a very low anglophone population (5.8%). Although Ile-Bizard is west island, it has twice as many francophones than anglophones.

Where are the allophones? It is well know that the Jewish have settled on the opposite side of the mountain from downtown in Outremont, Cote-St-Luc, Hampstead, and Montreal-Ouest. Also the Italians along with the Spanish are concentrated in the north east island: St-Leonard, Riviere-des-Prairies, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Montreal-Est, Montreal-Nord, Villeray, St-Michel, and Parc-Extension. Arabs are primarily north of the city in St-Laurent, Mont-Royal, Ahuntsic, Cartierville, Dollard-des-Ormeaux (DDO), and Roxboro. And the Chinese are concentrated in St-Laurent, Ville-Marie, Villeray, St-Michel, Parc-Extension, and the Plateau-Mont-Royal.

I really enjoyed plowing through the numbers and distilling the breakdown and exceptions. But that's what I do for a living, play with numbers and problem solve. I have also done studies of professional sports and each city or teams frequency of championships. I may share it around the World Series. This study also helps me get a better sense of the city. I hope you find it interesting and useful.

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