Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Determinants Of Health

Mother Tongue

Mother tongue refers to the first language learned at home in childhood and still understood by the individual at the time of the Census. In 2011, there was a higher percentage of people living in Simcoe Muskoka (89% or 444,755) who reported English as their mother tongue compared to 70% (or 8,950,685) in Ontario overall. Both Simcoe Muskoka (3% or 13,085) and Ontario (4% or 561,165) had similar percentages of their populations who indicated French as their mother tongue. A lower percentage in Simcoe Muskoka (8% or 41,050) than in Ontario (26% or 3,264,435) indicated a non-official language as their sole mother tongue.


Just over 41,000 people (8%) reported a non-official language as their only mother tongue; the top three of these non-official languages were German, Italian and Portuguese. Nearly 400 people (or 1%) that reported having a non-official language as their only mother tongue in Simcoe Muskoka reported having an Aboriginal mother tongue, mainly Ojibway.

European languages topped the list of non-official mother tongue languages in Simcoe Muskoka. In comparison, Asian and Southeast Asian languages were more common non-official mother tongue languages across Ontario.

Simcoe Muskoka, % (pop.)

Ontario, % (pop.)

German, 15% (5,980)

Italian, 8% (251,335)

Italian, 12% (4,985)

Chinese, 6% (195,115)

Portuguese, 9% (3,800)

Cantonese, 6% (186,865)

Polish, 8% (3,120)

Spanish, 6% (178,330)

Dutch, 7% (2,835)

Punjabi, 5% (173,975)

Data Source: Statistics Canada, Census (2011). * Data is based on “Single Responses” only from the “Most Often” Census question and excludes English and French.

Note: 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.