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One-third of Cdns will be visible minority by 2031, Statistics Canada projects


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One-third of Cdns will be visible minority by 2031, Statistics Canada projects

Allison Jones, THE CANADIAN PRESS March 9, 2010, EDT.
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TORONTO - About one-third of Canada's population - or 14.4 million people - will be a visible minority within three decades, Statistics Canada projects - that's more than double the 5.3 million visible minorities counted in 2006.

The year 2031 will mark a half century since 1981, when there were about one million Canadians who identified themselves as visible minorities.

The latest projections show the face of Canada will continue to change dramatically in the decades to come if immigration and fertility trends continue.

In 1981, just five per cent of the population were visible minorities, and Statistics Canada says that proportion is set to spike to between 29 and 32 per cent by 2031.

The largest visible minority group is projected to be South Asian, which includes people from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Statistics Canada projects the South Asian population could double in 2031 to 4.1 million from roughly 1.3 million in 2006.

That would mean South Asians would make up 28 per cent of Canada's visible minority population, up from 25 per cent in 2006. The Chinese population, while also projected to double, is projected to be 21 per cent of the population in 2031, down slightly from 24 per cent in 2006.

"This is because Chinese women have one of the lowest fertility rates in Canada, unlike South Asian women," the Statistics Canada release said.

"Also, people born in China have a higher propensity to emigrate than South Asians."

Statistics Canada takes its definition of a visible minority from the federal Employment Equity Act, which is "persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour."

The percentage of foreign-born people in Canada is projected to grow about four times faster than the rest of the population between now and 2031. That would mean the total proportion of foreign-born people would account for between 25 and 28 per cent of Canada's population, or up to 12.5 million.

By 2031, most visible minorities - 71 per cent - are projected to live in Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal, building on a trend that has seen immigrants move to urban centres in large numbers.

The largest proportion by far is projected to live in Toronto, where Statistics Canada projects white people would be the visible minority by 2031. The agency says 63 per cent of the population will be a visible minority in three decades, up from 43 per cent counted in the 2006 census.

In Vancouver, the population of visible minorities is projected to reach 59 per cent, up from 42 per cent in 2006.

The latest projections confirm that smaller centres and rural communities will look nothing like Canada's largest cities in the years to come.

Newcomers settle in urban areas because the sheer size of the cities means more job opportunities, which then leads to the creation of ethnic communities, said University of Toronto professor Jeffrey Reitz.

"(They) become kind of magnets in themselves for people of similar backgrounds," the ethnic and immigration studies professor said.

"The existence of the communities in the cities sort of tends to become a self-perpetuating process."

According to the latest census data 69 per cent of the 1.1 million people who immigrated to Canada between 2001 and 2006 settled in one of those three areas.

During that time Canada's visible minority population increased by more than 27 per cent, according to census data.

That big city-small town immigrant settlement gap may narrow one day, with foreign-born Canadians moving to all corners of the country, but not just yet, Reitz predicted.

"It's already the case for immigration over the last five or six years that it has begun to become a little bit less concentrated," he said.

"There has been that trend, but I think it certainly will be the case that immigration will continue to be a largely urban phenomenon for the foreseeable future."

Larger cities also tend to have more services in place for immigrants, from employment, language and education services to housing and health care, said Lynn Moran, with an umbrella group in British Columbia.

However, there are signs the tendency for immigrants to settle in large, urban centres is changing, she said.

"I see the gap as definitely narrowing," Moran said.

"A lot of smaller communities are becoming more aware that they really need immigrants to come and settle in their community."

The idea that Canada's identity is tied to its multicultural make-up is becoming much more engrained in the public mind, Reitz said.

"At the same time, there is still sort of an image at the back of people's minds that a Canadian is a white person," he said.

"Chinese-Canadians will be asked about when they came to the country, where they really came from, which implies...maybe they're not as fully Canadian as some people are."

Of course, Canada's increasing diversity has also brought with it explicit tensions and even outright racism highlighting a growing need to get along.

An Egyptian-born woman expelled from a French class after refusing to remove her face-covering niqab has filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission. Her friends say she felt she was being harassed.

Two Nova Scotia brothers, aged 19 and 20, have been charged with hate crimes after a cross was burned in the yard of an interracial couple. Police allege the accused hurled racial slurs at the couple.

There was a rash of attacks on anglers of Asian background in Ontario in recent years. They had complained of being hassled while fishing in various lakes. A 26-year-old man was sentenced to two years in jail.
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Brad Sallows

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"One-third of Cdns will be visible minority by 2031, Statistics Canada projects"

Translation: One-third of Cdns will not be white people by 2031, Statistics Canada projects.

I've always [sarcasm]admired[/sarcasm] the way in which race conscious fools express themselves in backhanded binary terms.  "Visible minority" as compared to ... what, exactly, if not "white majority"?  "Persons of colour" as compared to ... what, exactly, if not "white persons"?  Is the division into "coloureds" and "whites" in headlines and as talking points supposed to be helpful?

"Of course, Canada's increasing diversity has also brought with it explicit tensions and even outright racism highlighting a growing need to get along."

What diversity?  Officialdom and the chattering classes celebrate the diversity of all coloured peoples by fitting them all into one silo, and likewise everyone who does not fit into silo #1 goes into silo #2.


[Edit: to add final executive summary]


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According to what I heard on the news a couple of months ago 75% of the population of Toronto is "visible minority" That doesn't include anyone from Eastern Europe or the UK etc. that have immigrated. What about them? Mind you going downtown Toronto does remind me of a couple of deployments I've done. On the up side I can walk 200 ft and get any kind of food from anywhere in the world I want.

The 401 is a different thread!!


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I can't agree more with your executive summary. The headline is definitely within 6 degrees of separation from this headline:

"Coloreds to outnumber Whites by 2031"

If our society is politically correct as people think we should be, then I have one question: