FOR THOSE WHO HAVE THE PATIENCE to read them, more can be gathered about our immigrant groups from a few diagrams than from dozens of pages of reading. Those given here,1 and upon which the text of this chapter is a commentary, are based upon the Canadian Census. The census has given racial origin for many decades: this category has recently been deodorized by being cut down to origin. The census classifications are stable for the larger stocks, but for the lesser, they wobble about, producing 'races' in one census and extinguishing them in the next. For the censuses from 1931 on, a most useful category has been introduced, mother tongue, and beginning in 1941, tables correlate important data such as religion, mother tongue and racial origin. These tables enable us to find out how many Lutherans were Swedish, how many born in Russia were of German descent, and so on.
If a person has lost his original mother tongue and has learned the language of the new country 'at his mother's knee', it is fairly safe to put him down as a member of the general group--in our case, those who speak English, or rarely, French. Those who speak English in Canada greatly exceed in number those who put down a 'British Isles origin'. The inference is that many from the other groups have been assimilated into the general English-speaking group. The diagrams attempt to show how this applies to several racial stocks: they assume that the difference in numbers between those of a given origin and those who speak the corresponding language roughly represents the number who have passed into the English group. This is the 'area of assimilation' shown on the diagrams. It is of course not mathematically accurate and owing to lack of data, can only be portrayed from 1931 on. This comparison between mother tongue and racial origin can be buttressed by introducing the category 'country of birth'. There are, however, relatively few instances where country of birth, mother tongue and racial