The Changing Face of Canada

Posted

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 8:39am

By

BrettM

Sometimes, empirical evidence comes along to confirm what you already suspected or knew for sure. A great example of this is the latest results from the StatsCan survey, which indicate that Canada is becoming more diverse.

It’s something that we’ve all known, and most of us have embraced. Diversity is one of the key “Canadian” values, and it’s something that we take pride in. We’re not quite as tolerant a bunch as we’d like to believe (consider Quebec’s new law banning face coverings), and there is certainly a long way to go, but Canada, like the rest of the world, is mixing it up, so to speak.

Canada relies on immigration for economic reasons; it’s a net economic benefit to us, and while we don’t accept everyone who applies for entry, we’ll still bring in 300,000 immigrants to the country this year. These stats are reflected clearly in the latest census results.

One fifth of London’s citizens were born outside the country, for instance, which reflects the trend Canada-wide. And one in six Londoners identify as a visible minority. We’ve also seen an increase in Canada’s Indigenous population, with increased fertility rates and more people identifying as Indigenous.

The census also backs up some other things that we already knew. Canada has more seniors than ever before, and people are living longer. As a result, we have more generations under the same roof than ever before.

The changing face of the population brings challenges as well as benefits, though. There’s still a lot of racism here, for instance, and that’s going to present problems for newcomers as well as those who were born here. The numbers invite some introspection.

If we want to plan effectively, we need to know who we are. The return of the long form census is a boon to economists, sociologists, bureaucrats, and politicians. Also future historians. There is a lot of cool and useful information buried in the census details. If you’re a data nerd, you can find the results here.