Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Determinants Of Health

Mother Tongue

Key Messages
Non-Official Languages
Technical Notes

Mother tongue refers to the first language learned at home in childhood and still understood by the individual at the time of the Census.

Key Messages

  • In 2021, there was a higher percentage of people living in Simcoe Muskoka who reported English as their mother tongue (86.7% or 511,780) compared to 69.4% (or 9,787,295) in Ontario overall.
  • Fewer Simcoe Muskoka residents (2.7% or 13,710) reported French as their mother tongue compared to Ontario residents (4.2% or 591,860).
  • This is similar to what was seen in the 2016 Census.

Mother Tongue

Non-Official Languages

  • Almost 70,000 people (69,990 or 11.8% of the total population) in Simcoe Muskoka reported a non-official language as their only mother tongue, a lower proportion than the provincial rate of 26.9%.
  • European languages topped the list of non-official mother tongue languages in Simcoe Muskoka. In comparison, Asian languages were more common non-official mother tongue languages across Ontario.
  • Bradford West Gwillimbury had the largest percentage of persons (32.4% or 13,760)with a non-official language as their only mother tongue. Among this percentage, 15.5% (2,130) listed Portuguese, 8.4% (1,155) Italian, 8.3% (1,145) Spanish, and 8.1% (1,120) Russian.

Top 5 Non-Official Mother Tongue Languages*i

Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario, 2021

Simcoe Muskoka, % (population)

Ontario, % (population)

Spanish, 9.4% (6,605)

Mandarin, 8.6% (327,470)

Italian, 9.4% (6,575)

Cantonese, 7.1% (267,425)

Portuguese, 8.7% (6,070)

Punjabi (Panjabi), 6.9% (260,075)

Russian, 7.2% (5,030)

Spanish, 5.7% (217,245)

German, 6.2% (4,310)

Arabic, 5.7% (214,230)

Data Source: Statistics Canada, 2021 Census of Population.
* Data is based on “Single Responses” only and excludes English and French.

iProportion of the population that has a non-official language as their sole mother tongue.

Technical Notes

For the official languages of English and French, the calculations presented here include both single and multiple responses to the question: What is the language that this person first learned at home in childhood and still understands? Totals may not equal 100% due to this and also due to rounding. Non-official languages are based on single responses only, that is, those who report a non-official language as their sole mother tongue.

Page Last Modified: April 27, 2023