Knowledge Center

Population

  • Visible minorities* in Canada make up 16.2% (5,068,095) of a total population of 31,241,030.1
  • Almost 40% (38.1% or 1,930,750 people) of the visible minority population in Canada is under the age of 25.2
  • Approximately one-third (30.2%) of the visible minority population was born in Canada.3
  • Visible minorities are projected to become up to 32.1% (14,434,000) of the total Canadian population (45,008,000) by 2031.4
    • South Asians is projected to be the largest visible minority group in 2031; growing from 1.3 million in 2006 to between 3.2 million and 4.1 million in 2031.5
  • In 2006, the South Asian population represented 25% of visible minority groups, while in 2031, they are expected to represent 28%6
    • The Chinese population is projected to grow from 1.3 million in 2006 to between 2.4 million and 3.0 million in 2031.7
  • In 2006, the Chinese population represented 24% of visible minority groups, while in 2031, they are projected to represent 21%.8
  • In Toronto, in 2006, 47% of the population of Toronto identified themselves as a visible minority, up from 42.8% in 20019
    • In 2006, the visible minority population of Toronto made up 22.9% of all visible minorities in Canada.10
    • The top five visible minority groups in Toronto in 2006 were:11
      • South Asian (12% of the Toronto population)
      • Chinese (11.4%)
      • African American (8.4%)
      • Filipino (4.1%)
      • Latin American (2.6%)

Labour Force

  • Visible minorities are 15.4% (2,639,520) of the labour force.12
  • Visible minorities represent 13.5% (220,305) of 1,631,730 total management occupations.13
  • South Asian and Chinese are the largest visible minority groups in the visible minority labour force, at 24.9% (656,205) and 23.6% (623,225) respectively. Black and Filipino are the next two largest at 15.1% (397,460) and 9.3% (245,855), with all other groups comprising the remaining 27.2% of the visible minority labour force.14
  • There are 1,265,510 visible minority women in the labour force, which is 47.9% of the total visible minority labour force and 7.4% of the total labour force.15
  • Women visible minorities make up 35.9% (79,010) of visible minorities in management occupations and are 13.5% of all women in management.16

Age

  • People ages 15-24 are 16.0% (421,615) of the visible minority labour force, while 72.6% are prime working age people, ages 25-54 (1,915,720), and those 55 years and older are the remaining 11.4% (302,180).17

Education

  • Visible minorities in Canada are highly educated – 27.9% have a university certificate or degree as compared to the 16.4% of the non-visible minority population.18
  • Visible minority women also hold more university certificates or degrees than non-visible minority women in Canada – 26.3% and 16.6%, respectively.19

Note: Statistics about visible minorities are only available through the national census in Canada, which is administered every five years (the next one will be in 2011); labour force statistics are calculated based upon persons 15 years and older.

* The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as "persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour". The visible minority population includes the following groups: Chinese, South Asian, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Southeast Asian, Arab, West Asian, Japanese, Korean and Pacific Islander.

** Not Included Elsewhere: People who reported a single write-in response which is likely to indicate a visible minority group.
 
*** "All others" indicates people who were not counted in the visible minority population, including respondents who reported a single response of "White" and respondents who reported Aboriginal identity.


How to cite this product: Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Visible Minorities. New York: Catalyst, 2012.

  • 1. Statistics Canada, "Visible Minority Population, By Age Group," 2006 Census (2008).
  • 2. Statistics Canada, "Visible Minority Population, By Age Group," 2006 Census (2008).
  • 3. Statistics Canada, "Visible Minority Groups (15), Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (9), Age Groups (10) and Sex (3) for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Divisions and Census Subdivisions, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data," 2006 Census, no. 97-562-XCB2006016 (2008).
  • 4. Statistics Canada, Projections of the Diversity of the Canadian Population: 2006 to 2031, no. 91-551 (2010).
  • 5. Statistics Canada, Study: Projections of the Diversity of the Canadian Population (2010).
  • 6. Statistics Canada, Study: Projections of the Diversity of the Canadian Population (2010).
  • 7. Statistics Canada, Study: Projections of the Diversity of the Canadian Population (2010).
  • 8. Statistics Canada, Study: Projections of the Diversity of the Canadian Population (2010).
  • 9. City of Toronto, Toronto’s Racial Diversity (2006).
  • 10. City of Toronto, Toronto’s Racial Diversity (2006).
  • 11. City of Toronto, Toronto’s Racial Diversity (2006).
  • 12. Statistics Canada, "Labour Force Activity (8), Visible Minority Groups (14), Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (9A), Age Groups (9) and Sex (3) for the Population 15 Years and Over of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 1996 to 2006 Censuses - 20% Sample Data," 2006 Census no. 97-562-XCB2006013 (2008).
  • 13. Statistics Canada, "Population Groups (28), Age Groups (8), Sex (3) and Selected Demographic, Cultural, Labour Force, Educational and Income Characteristics (309), for the Total Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data," 2006 Census no. 97-564-XCB2006009 (2008).
  • 14. Statistics Canada, "Labour Force Activity (8), Visible Minority Groups (14), Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (9A), Age Groups (9) and Sex (3) for the Population 15 Years and Over of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 1996 to 2006 Censuses - 20% Sample Data," 2006 Census no. 97-562-XCB2006013 (2008).
  • 15. Statistics Canada, "Labour Force Activity (8), Visible Minority Groups (15), Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (9), Highest Certificate, Diploma or Degree (7), Age Groups (9) and Sex (3) for the Population 15 Years and Over of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data," 2006 Census no. 97-562-XCB2006017 (2008).
  • 16. Statistics Canada, "Population Groups (28), Age Groups (8), Sex (3) and Selected Demographic, Cultural, Labour Force, Educational and Income Characteristics (309), for the Total Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data," 2006 Census no. 97-564-XCB2006009 (2008).
  • 17. Statistics Canada, "Labour Force Activity (8), Visible Minority Groups (14), Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (9A), Age Groups (9) and Sex (3) for the Population 15 Years and Older for Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 1996 to 2006 Censuses – 20% Sample Data," 2006 Census no. 97-562-XCB2006013 (2008).
  • 18. Statistics Canada, "Labour Force Activity (8), Visible Minority Groups (15), Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (9), Highest Certificate, Diploma or Degree (7), Age Groups (9) and Sex (3) for the Population 15 Years and Over of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data," 2006 Census no. 97-562-XCB2006017 (2008).
  • 19. Statistics Canada, "Labour Force Activity (8), Visible Minority Groups (15), Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (9), Highest Certificate, Diploma or Degree (7), Age Groups (9) and Sex (3) for the Population 15 Years and Over of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data," 2006 Census no. 97-562-XCB2006017 (2008).