French Canadians in the U.S.
When you hear the word immigration, chances are you picture the long serpentine border with Mexico. But few people know that between 1840 and 1930, nearly one million people emigrated from the province of Québec in Canada to find a new life in the United States, particularly in the New England states. Even today, there are neighborhoods throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, where French is the mother tongue.
Spurred by the overpopulation of rural areas in Québec and the industrialization of New England, approximately 900,000 residents of the province poured into the U.S. in search of jobs. The textile centers of Lewiston, Maine, Lowell, Massachusetts and Woonsocket, Rhode Island were attractive destinations for the Québecois.
Today, there are about eight million people of French Canadian descent living in the United States, and approximately 2 million total speak French at home in the U.S. The vast majority of French Canadians residing in the U.S. live in New England, particularly in the northern states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, close to the Québec border.
French Canadians in America
French Canadian Emigration
Maine’s French Communities
University of Maine’s Franco-American Center/Centre Franco-Américain