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Canada's Ethnocultural Mosaic, 2006 Census: National picture

Mixed unions involving visible minorities on the rise

The 2006 Census counted 289,400 mixed unions (marriages and common-law unions) involving a visible minority person with a non-visible minority person or a person from a different visible minority group. This was a 33.1% increase from 2001, more than five times the increase of 6.0% for all couples.

In 2006, mixed unions represented 3.9% of all unions in Canada, compared with 3.1% in 2001 and 2.6% in 1991.

Among all mixed unions in 2006, 247,600 couples were in unions involving a visible minority person and someone who was not a visible minority. They made up 3.3% of all couples in Canada.

The remaining type of mixed unions, 41,900 couples in 2006, was of a couple of two different visible minority groups. They accounted for 0.6% of all couples in Canada in 2006.

Japanese had the highest proportion of mixed couples. Although there were only 29,700 couples involving at least one Japanese person, 74.7% of these pairings included a non-Japanese partner. The second and third groups to be most likely involved in a mixed union were Latin Americans (47.0%) and Blacks (40.6%).1

In contrast, South Asians and Chinese were among the least likely to form a union outside their group. Of the 327,200 couples involving South Asians, only 12.7% of them were either in a union with a non-visible minority person or with a person of a different visible minority group. Among the 321,700 couples involving Chinese, only 17.4% were mixed.

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