A quarter of Quebec children eligible for English-language schools don’t attend them: Statistics Canada data

By News Staff

Nearly a quarter of Quebec students who are allowed to attend English-language schools do not attend them, according to Statistics Canada data analyzed by La Presse.

They are eligible to attend school in English, but choose instruction in French, and it’s seen particularly in the Laurentians and Lanaudière regions.

For the first time in 2021, census questions focused on eligibility for instruction in the minority language, English in Quebec and French in the rest of Canada.

Statistics Canada released data Tuesday that shows how much this attendance varies from one region of Quebec to another.

In 2021, 36 per cent of school-aged children who were eligible for instruction in English in Quebec were on the island of Montreal, where the participation rate in English-language schools was higher than the average. Nearly four out of five eligible children in Montreal were educated in English.

The regions that had a smaller proportion of children eligible for instruction in English who were attending or had attended an English-language school in Canada in 2021 were the Laurentians at just over 66 per cent, Lanaudière over 65 per cent, and Bas-Saint-Laurent just over 59 per cent.

In the Côte-Nord and Capitale-Nationale regions, 74 per cent of school-aged children eligible for school in English attended it.

Statistics Canada plans to ask Quebec parents the reasons behind their decision to send their children to an English school as part of another analysis to be published later this year.

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