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Ethnic origin (also known as ethnic ancestry) refers to the ethnic or cultural origins of the respondent's ancestors. An ancestor is someone from whom a person is descended and is usually more distant than a grandparent. Ethnic origin should not be confused with language, place of birth or citizenship. For example, a person of Haitian origin may speak French, be born in Canada and have Canadian citizenship. Since 1981, when respondents were first permitted to report more than one ethnic origin in the census, a distinction has been made between single response, multiple responses and total responses.
Most of the data that are reported in this document refers to the total response count for each ethnic group, unless otherwise indicated.
The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as 'persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.' Under this definition, regulations specify the following groups as visible minorities: Chinese, South Asians, Blacks, Arabs, West Asians, Filipinos, Southeast Asians, Latin Americans, Japanese, Koreans and other visible minority groups, such as Pacific Islanders.
Foreign-born population (also known as the immigrant population) is defined in the 2006 Census as persons who are, or who have been, landed immigrants in Canada. In this analysis, the foreign-born population does not include non-permanent residents. The foreign-born population also excludes persons born outside Canada who are Canadian citizens by birth. The latter are considered part of the Canadian-born or non-immigrant population.
Recent immigrants (also known as newcomers) refers to landed immigrants who came to Canada up to five years prior to a given census year. For the 2006 Census, recent immigrants are landed immigrants who arrived in Canada between January 1, 2001 and Census Day, May 16, 2006. Similarly, recent immigrants in the 2001 Census were newcomers at the time of the 2001 Census, i.e., they came to Canada between January 1, 1996 and Census Day, May 15, 2001.
Non-permanent residents refers to people from another country who had a Work or Study Permit, or who were refugee claimants at the time of the census, and family members living in Canada with them.
Generation status indicates for how many generations a person and their family have been in Canada. It is derived from place of birth of respondent, place of birth of father and place of birth of mother and it pertains only to the population aged 15 years and older. Persons are defined as either 'first generation,' 'second generation' or 'third generation or more,' which are defined as follows:
Census metropolitan area is an area consisting of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a major urban core. A census metropolitan area must have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more live in the urban core.