French Canadian American

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French Canadian American
Total population
8,124,280
2.68% of the American Population
Regions with significant populations
Various
Languages
French · English
Religion
Roman Catholicism, Protestantism
Related ethnic groups
French Canadians

French Canadian Americans are Americans of French-Canadian descent. About 8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, and about 2 million Americans speak French at home.[1] Americans of French-Canadian descent are most heavily concentrated in New England and the Midwest. Their ancestors mostly arrived in the United States from Quebec between 1840 and 1930, though some families became established as early as the 17th and 18th centuries.

The term Canadien (French for "Canadian") may be used either in reference to nationality or ethnicity in regard to this population group. French Canadian Americans, because of their proximity to Canada and Quebec, kept their language, culture, and religion alive much longer than any other ethnic group in the United States apart from Mexican Americans.[2] Many "Little Canada" neighborhoods developed in New England cities, but gradually disappeared as their residents eventually assimilated into the American mainstream. A revival of the Canadian identity has taken place in the Midwestern states, where some families of French descent have lived for many generations. These states had been considered part of Canada up until 1783. A return to their roots seems to be taking place, with a greater interest in all things that are Canadian or Québécois.[3]

French Canadian population in New England[edit]

Cities[edit]

French Canadian Immigration to New England[edit]

Distribution of Franco Americans according to the 2000 census
Distribution of French Canadians in New England, 1860-1880 [6]
State Francophones Percentage Francophones Percentage
  Maine 7,490 20.0% 29,000 13.9%
  New Hampshire 1,780 4.7% 26,200 12.6%
  Vermont 16,580 44.3% 33,500 16.1%
  Massachusetts 7,780 20.8% 81,000 38.9%
  Rhode Island 1,810 5.0% 19,800 9.5%
  Connecticut 1,980 5.3% 18,500 8.9%
Total 37,420 100% 208,100 100%
Distribution of French Canadians in New England, 1900-1930 [7]
State Francophones Percentage Francophones Percentage
  Maine 58,583 11.3% 99,765 13.4%
  New Hampshire 74,598 14.4% 101,324 13.6%
  Vermont 41,286 8.0% 46,956 6.4%
  Massachusetts 250,024 48.1% 336,871 45.3%
  Rhode Island 56,382 10.9% 91,173 12.3%
  Connecticut 37,914 7.3% 67,130 9.0%
Total 518,887 100% 743,219 100%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Languages Used at home:" (PDF). 2010 U.S. Census. U.S. Census Bureau. October 2010. 
  2. ^ l’Actualité économique, Vol. 59, No 3, (september 1983): 423-453 and Yolande LAVOIE, L’Émigration des Québécois aux États-Unis de 1840 à 1930, Québec, Conseil de la langue française, 1979.
  3. ^ Harvard encyclopedia of American ethnic groups,Stephan Thernstorm, Harvard College, 1980, p 392
  4. ^ According to the U.S. Census Bureau of 2000
  5. ^ According to the U.S. Census Bureau of 2000
  6. ^ Ralph D. VICERO, Immigration of French Canadians to New England, 1840-1900, Ph.D thesis, University of Wisconsin, 1968, p. 275; as given in Yves ROBY, Les Franco-Américains de la Nouvelle Angleterre, 1776-1930, Sillery, Septentrion, 1990, p. 47
  7. ^ Leon TRUESDELL, The Canadian Born in the United States, New Haven, 1943, p. 77; as given in Yves ROBY, Les Franco-Américains de la Nouvelle-Angleterre, Sillery, Septentrion, 1990, p. 282.