The three Prairie provinces—Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta—were collectively home to 597,200 people belonging to a visible minority group, up 34.3% from 444,600 in 2001. These individuals represented 11.2% of the region's 5.3 million residents in 2006.
Alberta was home to the lion's share of the visible minorities in the three Prairie provinces, an estimated 454,200. Another 109,100 lived in Manitoba and 33,900 in Saskatchewan. They accounted for 13.9% of the population in Alberta, 9.6% in Manitoba and 3.6% in Saskatchewan, all below the national average of 16.2%
Alberta had the third highest proportion of visible minorities in the country, behind only British Columbia and Ontario, while Manitoba ranked fourth.
The largest visible minority group in both Alberta and Saskatchewan was Chinese, which accounted for 26.5% of all visible minorities in Alberta and 28.0% in Saskatchewan. In Manitoba, Filipino was the largest group, with 34.6% of all visible minorities. In fact, Manitoba was home to a larger share of Filipinos than its share of visible minorities. In 2006, 9.2% of all Filipinos in Canada resided in Manitoba. In comparison, only 2.2% of Canada's visible minorities lived in the province.
Ethnic origins on the Prairies reflect the European and Aboriginal heritage of the population.
In Manitoba, the top three ethnic ancestries reported alone or in combination with other ancestries were English (259,600), German (216,800) and Scottish (209,200).The seven other most frequently reported ancestries were Canadian, Ukrainian, Irish, French, North American Indian, Polish and Métis.
Overall, 38.0% of Manitoba's population reported British Isles origins. Another 50.2% of the population had European origins other than British Isles or French, and 16.5% reported Aboriginal ancestries. About two-thirds of those reporting Aboriginal ancestries were of North American Indian ancestry. Nearly four in 10 (38.8%) reported Métis ancestry.
In Saskatchewan, three in 10 people reported German ancestry, its largest ethnic group in 2006. Just over one-quarter of them said German was their only origin, while the rest reported German and other ancestries. Virtually all (97.6%) of those with German ancestry were Canadian-born. Only 2.3% of individuals with German ancestry in Saskatchewan were foreign-born, and almost one-half of them came to Canada before 1961.
The other frequently reported ancestries in Saskatchewan were English, Scottish, Canadian and Irish, as well as Ukrainian, French, North American Indian, Norwegian and Polish.
In Alberta, English was the most frequently reported ancestry, either alone or in combination with other ancestries. An estimated 885,800 individuals reported English origin and another 667,400 individuals reported Canadian origin. In addition, nearly one-half (48.8%) of Alberta's population reported some European ancestries. The largest European origins were German, Ukrainian, Dutch, Polish and Norwegian.
French origin accounted for 12.0% of Alberta's total population. The vast majority (88.9%) of individuals who reported French origin also reported other ancestral roots.
The 2006 Census enumerated 244,600 individuals with Aboriginal ancestries in Alberta. They accounted for 7.5% of the province's overall population.