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Canada's Ethnocultural Mosaic, 2006 Census: Canada's major census metropolitan areas

Toronto: Largest number of visible minorities in the country

As it did in 2001, the census metropolitan area of Toronto had the highest share of visible minorities among all census metropolitan areas in Canada. This was because a large share of recent immigrants who were visible minorities settled there between 2001 and 2006. During this period, Toronto took in 40.4% of all newcomers to Canada; 81.9% of these newcomers belonged to a visible minority group.

The 2006 Census enumerated 2,174,100 individuals who identified themselves as visible minorities in Toronto, by far the largest number among all census metropolitan areas. They made up 42.9% of Toronto's population of 5.1 million, up from 36.8% in 2001 and 31.6% in 1996.

Between 2001 and 2006, Toronto's visible minority population grew by 27.0%, about the same growth rate as the national average of 27.2%.

The vast majority (94.0%) of the visible minority population in the census metropolitan area of Toronto lived in only six municipalities: the City of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. These municipalities were also home to 83.5% of Toronto's total population.

About 1.7 million of the visible minorities in Toronto were aged 15 and over. They represented 41% of Toronto's total workforce population.

South Asians and Chinese: Toronto's two largest visible minority groups

The two largest visible minority groups in Toronto in 2006 were South Asians and Chinese. The census enumerated 684,100 South Asians, the largest group, and 486,300 Chinese.

The South Asians in Toronto accounted for over one-half (54.2%) of all South Asians in Canada in 2006. They represented 31.5% of all visible minorities in Toronto, and 13.5% of Toronto's total population.

Almost three-quarters (72.3%) of the South Asian community in Toronto were foreign-born, having arrived as immigrants. Just under one-third (30.7%) of foreign-born South Asians immigrated to Canada between 2001 and 2006. Most of them came from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Slightly over one-quarter (25.9%) of Toronto's South Asians were born in Canada. This population of Canadian-born South Asians was fairly young. In 2006, their median age was 10 years, compared with 27 years among the total Canadian-born population in Toronto.

The 486,300 Chinese made up 22.4% of Toronto's visible minority population, and 9.6% of its total population in 2006. Their top three birthplaces were the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region) and Viet Nam.

As it did with the South Asian community, recent immigration fuelled the Chinese population in Toronto. Among the Chinese visible minorities, 74.7% were foreign-born; one-fifth of these arrived between 2001 and 2006.

Toronto was also home to the largest number of Blacks and Filipinos among all census metropolitan areas. These two groups were respectively the third and fourth largest visible minority groups in Toronto in 2006.

The Black population of 352,200 made up 16.2% of Toronto's visible minority population, and 6.9% of its total population.

Just 55.4% of the Black population, about 195,300, were foreign-born in 2006, a smaller proportion than for the South Asian and Chinese communities. Over one-half (55.1%) of foreign-born Blacks came from three countries: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ghana.

The 2006 Census enumerated 172,000 individuals identified as members of the Filipino visible minority group in Toronto. They represented 7.9% of all visible minorities and 3.4% of its total population. Nearly three-quarters (73.1%) of Filipinos were foreign-born.

Other visible minority groups in the census metropolitan area of Toronto included Latin Americans (99,300), West Asians (75,500), Southeast Asians (70,200), Koreans (55,300), Arabs (53,400) and Japanese (19,000).

Markham and Brampton had the highest proportions of visible minority population

Visible minorities in the census metropolitan area of Toronto were more likely to reside in just a few municipalities, such as the City of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham and Richmond Hill. Consequently, the proportion of visible minorities in these municipalities surpassed the Toronto census metropolitan area's average.

The municipality of Markham had the highest proportion of visible minorities in the country; they accounted for 65.4% of its population. In fact, Markham surpassed even Richmond, in British Columbia, where they represented 65.1% of the population.

Over one-half (52.4%) of Markham's visible minorities were Chinese and slightly over one-quarter (26.4%) were South Asian.

Visible minorities represented 57.0% of Brampton's population, the second highest proportion in Toronto. The largest group in Brampton was the South Asian community, whose population represented 55.6% of all visible minorities in Brampton. They were followed by Blacks, who represented 21.7% of all visible minorities.

Close to one-half (49.0%) of Mississauga's population identified as visible minorities in 2006, followed by the City of Toronto (46.9%) and Richmond Hill (45.7%).

English ancestry most frequently cited in Toronto

The 2006 Census counted more than 200 different ethnic origins in the census metropolitan area of Toronto. English was the most frequently cited ethnic ancestry. About 804,100 individuals reported English ancestry either as their only origin or in combination with other origins. It was followed by 651,600 individuals reporting Canadian origin, 561,100 Scottish, 537,100 Chinese and 531,900 Irish.

Other ethnic origins among the top 10 total responses were East Indian, Italian, German, French and Polish.

In total, over one-third (35.8%) of Toronto's population reported at least some European origins, while over one-quarter (26.3%) reported some British Isles origins.

Toronto CMA. Percentage of Visible Minorities by 2006 Census Tracts (CTs)(1 of 2)

Toronto CMA. Percentage of Visible Minorities by 2006 Census Tracts (CTs)(2 of 2)

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