In 2006, the population of the city of Ottawa was 812,129, while the population of the census metropolitan area was 1,130,761. The population of the pre-amalgamated city was 337,031 at the 2001 census, and had fallen to 328,105 at the 2006 Census. The census of May 2006 estimates 1,148,800 people living in the greater Ottawa (Ottawa-Gatineau) area. In 2001 females made up 51.23 percent of the population. Youths under 14 years of age number 19.30 percent of the total population, while those of retirement age (65 years and older) make up 10.81 percent resulting in an average age of 36.6 years of age.
Those who identified their mother tongue as English constitute 62.6 percent, French 14.9 percent and both English & French 0.85 percent. An additional 21.6 percent list languages other than English and French as their mother tongue. These include Chinese (3.1%), Arabic (3.0%), Italian (1.3%), Spanish (1.2%), and many others. In terms of respondents' knowledge of one or both official languages, the numbers are English only at 59.9 percent, English and French at 37.2 percent, French only at 1.6 percent, and neither official language at 1.3 percent.
Foreign born residents in Ottawa made up 22.3 percent of the population in which many come from China, Lebanon, northeast Africa, Somalia, Iran, and the Balkans. Members of visible minority groups (non-white/European) constituted 20.2 percent, while those of Aboriginal origin numbered 1.5% of the total population. The largest visible minority groups were: Black Canadians: 4.9%, Chinese Canadian: 3.8%, South Asian: 3.3%, and Arab: 3%. Smaller groups include Latin American, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, multiple ethnicity visible minorities, and visible minorities not included elsewhere (n.i.e.).
As expressed in 2001 census, the most popular religion is Christianity as 79.34 percent of the population described themselves belonging to various Christian denominations, the most popular being Roman Catholicism: 54.16%, Protestantism: 21.85%, Christian Orthodox: 1.68%, while the remaining 1.64% consists of independent Christian churches like Jehovah's Witness, LDS etc. Non-Christian religions are also very well established in Ottawa, the largest being Islam: 3.97%, Judaism: 1.09%, and Buddhism: 0.95%. Those professing no religion number about 13.29 percent.
|Religions in Ottawa-Gatineau
(only religions with more than 1% of the population listed)
In 2001, females made up 51.2% of the amalgamated Ottawa population, while the median age of the population was 36.7 years of age. Youths under 15 years of age comprised 18.9% of the total population, while those of retirement age (65 years and older) comprised 11.4%.
Between 1987 and 2002, 131,816 individuals relocated to the city, which represents 75% of the population growth for that period. Foreign immigration plays a significant role in Ottawa's population growth. As of 2006 foreign-born residents make up approximately 22% of the populace, many of whom come from China, Lebanon, North Africa, Iran, and the Balkans. Those of Aboriginal origin numbered 1.5% of the total population. Members of visible minority groups (non-white/European) constituted 20.2%. The largest visible minority groups were people of Black (4.9%), Chinese (3.8%), South Asian (3.3%) and Arab (3.0%) ancestry.
According to the 2001 census, the most practiced religion is Christianity as 74.7% of the population described themselves belonging to various Christian denominations. The largest denomination is Catholicism at 43.3% of city residents. Members of Protestant churches formed 27.6%, Christian Orthodox were 2.1%, and 1.8% belonged to other Christian groups, including Jehovah's Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Non-Christian religion practiced in Ottawa included Islam (5.2%), Judaism (1.5%), Buddhism (1.2%), Hinduism (1.1%), and Sikhism (0.3%). Those professing other forms of eastern religion or no religion formed 0.2% and 15.7% of the population respectively.
The Algonquian languages have been spoken for centuries by the Indigenous peoples and subsequently by the French coureurs des bois and voyageurs of the Ottawa valley during the 1600s and 1700s. Starting in the mid-1800s, Irish settlers of the Ottawa valley develop a distinct dialect referred to as "Ottawa Valley Twang". Traces of "Valley Twang" although rare, can still be heard in the valley's more isolated areas.
Bilingualism in Ottawa became official policy in 2002, making all municipal services available in both of Canada's official languages (Canadian English and Canadian French). Nearly 300,000 people, or 37% of Ottawa's population, can speak both languages, As such it is the largest city in Canada with both English and French as co-official languages. Those who identified their mother tongue as English constitute 62.6%, French 14.9%, and both 0.9%. An additional 21.6% list languages other than English and French as their mother tongue. These include Italian, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, German, Persian, Urdu, Lebanese along with other dialects of the Arabic language. When questioned on their knowledge of Canada's official languages, 59.9% of the population reported speaking only English; 37.2% reported speaking both English and French; 1.6% spoke only French; and 1.3% spoke neither official language.
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