Ethnic Origin and Visible Minorities

Top 10 Ethnic Origins, Ontario Share of Visible Miniority in the Population Visible Minorities, Ontario, 2011 Proportion of Visible Minorities, Ontario CMAs, 2011 Top Visible Minorities, Toronto CMA, 2011 Highest Proportion of Visible Minorities, Ontario CSDs, 2011

This factsheet looks at data on ethnic origin and visible minorities released by
Statistics Canada as part of the 2011 National Household Survey1. In the
Census, visible minorities are defined as persons who are non-Caucasian in race
or non-white in colour and who do not report being Aboriginal.

Ontario’s Population is Highly Diverse

  • Ethnic origin refers to the ethnic or cultural origins of the
    respondent’s ancestors.
  • The ethnic origin most often reported in the 2011 National Household Survey was Canadian. An estimated 2,946,095 people living in Ontario reported Canadian as their ethnic origin, either alone or in combination with other origins.
  • Canadian was followed closely by English, reported by 2,925,660 Ontarians.
  • Other most reported ethnic origins in Ontario were Scottish (2,080,545), Irish (2,069,110), French (1,362,320), German (1,154,550), Italian (883,990) and Chinese (713,245), East Indian (678,465) and Dutch (508,595).
  • In total, more than 200 ethnic origins were reported by Ontarians in the 2011 NHS.

One in Four Ontarians A Member of the Visible Minority Population

  • In 2011, 3,279,565 Ontarians identified themselves as a member of the visible minority population.
  • These individuals comprised 25.9% of Ontario’s total population; represented more than half of Canada’s total visible minorities (6.3 million).
  • The vast majority of visible minorities live in urban centres, of which 2.6 million live in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA).
  • Between 2006 and 2011, Ontario’s visible minority population increased nearly five times faster than the population as a whole (19.5% vs. 4.0%). Ontario’s 301,430 people who self-identified as aboriginal are not counted as part of the visible minority population.
  • Of the 3.3 million Ontarians who identified themselves as visible minority, three in ten (31.0%) were born in Canada, while 69.0% were born outside Canada.

South Asian was the Largest Visible Minority

  • Combined, the three largest visible minority groups in 2011 – South Asians, Chinese and Blacks – accounted for nearly two-thirds (65.1%) of visible minorities.
  • South Asian was the single largest visible minority group, accounting for 29.5% of visible minorities and 7.6% of Ontario’s total population.
  • The South Asian population grew 21.6%, from 794,170 in 2006 to 965,900 in 2011.

Visible Minorities in Ontario’s CMAs

  • In 2011, nearly all (98.3%) of Ontario’s visible minorities lived in Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). They comprised 31.8% of the province’s total CMA population.
  • The Toronto CMA was home to 2,596,420 visible minorities which accounted for 47.0% of its population. This represented 79.2% or nearly 4 in 5 of Ontario’s total visible minorities (3.3 million).
  • Ottawa-Gatineau (Ontario part) had the second highest proportion (22.8%) of visible minorities among all the 15 CMAs of the province.
  • Windsor ranked third in the proportion of visible minorities (17.2%), followed by Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (16.2%) and Hamilton (14.3%).

South Asians, Chinese and Blacks: Toronto CMA’s Largest Visible Minorities

  • South Asians, Chinese and Blacks were the three largest visible minorities in Toronto. The 2011 NHS counted 833,085 South Asians, 531,635 Chinese and 397,175 Blacks.
  • South Asians in Toronto represented 32.1% of all visible minorities in the CMA and 15.1% of the total population of Ontario. They accounted for 86.2% of all South Asians in Ontario.
  • The Chinese made up 20.5% of Toronto’s visible minorities and 9.6% of the total population, while Blacks made up 15.3% of the CMA’s visible minorities and 7.2% of the total population.

Markham and Brampton Have the Highest Proportion of Visible Minorities Among CSDs (Municipalities)

  • Town of Markham had the highest proportion of visible minorities in Canada. Visible minorities accounted for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of its population, up from 65.4% in 2006. Over half (52.9%) of Markham’s visible minorities were Chinese and over one quarter (26.4%) were South Asian.
  • In Brampton, visible minorities represented 66.4% of the population, the second highest among Ontario’s Census Subdivisions (CSDs). South Asians comprised more than half (57.8%) of the visible minorities.
  • Over half (53.7%) of Mississauga’s population were identified as visible minorities, of which 40.5% were South Asians.

1 Comparability between the 2006 Census and the 2011 NHS estimates:
When comparing estimates over time, two key differences should be considered: 1. The NHS is a voluntary survey and may be subject to potentially higher non-response error than the 2006 Census. 2. The two sources represent different populations ̶ the 2006 Census includes residents in collective dwellings and persons living abroad, while the NHS excludes these groups.

June 2013

Contact: Edisa Kozo (416) 326-7062

Office of Economic Policy
Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch

Page: 3423  |