Canada's Ethnocultural Mosaic, 2006 Census: Highlights
- Over 200 ethnic origins were reported by the total population in Canada in the 2006 Census. This list of origins included Canada’s Aboriginal peoples as well as the groups that came to settle in Canada.
- After Canadian, the other most frequently reported origins in 2006, either alone or with other origins, were English, French, Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, Chinese, North American Indian and Ukrainian.
- The incidence of people reporting multiple ethnic ancestries continued to rise in 2006. An estimated 41.4% of the population reported more than one ethnic origin, compared with 38.2% in 2001 and 35.8% in 1996.
- The 2006 Census estimated 5,068,100 individuals who belonged to a visible minority. The visible minorities accounted for 16.2% of Canada’s total population, up from 13.4% in 2001 and 11.2% in 1996.
- Between 2001 and 2006, Canada’s visible minority population increased by 27.2%. This was five times faster than the 5.4% growth rate of the total population.
- The growth in the visible minority population was largely due to the high porportion of newcomers who belonged to visible minorities. In 2006, fully 75.0% of recent immigrants who arrived since 2001 were visible minorities. This compared with 72.9% of visible minority newcomers in 2001 and 74.1% in 1996.
- South Asians surpassed Chinese as the largest visible minority group in 2006. Chinese and Blacks were respectively, the second and third largest visible minority groups.
- Canada’s visible minority population is ethnoculturally diverse, with some groups more so than others.
- In 2006, over one-half (52.0%) of the Black visible minority group reported Caribbean origins, another 42.4% reported African origins. Black visible minorities also reported British Isles origins (11.6%), Canadian origin (10.9%) and French origins (4.1%).
- Most South Asian visible minorities reported ancestral backgrounds from the Indian subcontinent: East Indian origin, alone or with other origins, 69.0%, Pakistani (9.3%), Sri Lankan (7.8%), Punjabi (4.1%), Tamil (2.7%) and Bangladeshi (1.8%).
- The most frequently reported origin among Latin American visible minorities was Spanish. Among the Arab visible minorities, it was Lebanese. It was Iranian among the West Asians and Vietnamese among Southeast Asians.
- In 2006, 95.9% of the visible minority population lived in a census metropolitan area, compared with 68.1% of the total population.
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