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2006 Census: Ethnic Origin, Visible Minorities, Commuting Patterns and Places of Work of Canadians

by NationTalk on April 14, 20082346 Views

EDMONTON, AB – Statistics Canada released today the 2006 Census data and analysis on the latest portrait of Canada’s ethnocultural mosaic, as well as on Canadians’ commuting patterns and places of work.

Ethnic Origin: Census data show that British Isles and European origins dominate in Alberta, but Aboriginal origins were also among the top ten most frequently reported. In 2006, 45.7% of the population of the province reported some British Isles origins, either as their only ethnic ancestry or in combination with others. 48.8% reported other European origins, while 7.5% reported at least some Aboriginal ancestry.The most frequently reported ancestries in Alberta in 2006, as either single or multiple responses, and the percentage of the total population they represented in 2006, were: English (27.2%), German (20.9%), Canadian (20.5%), Scottish (20.3%), Irish (16.6%), French (11.9%), Ukrainian (10.2%), Dutch {Netherlands} (5.3%), Polish (5.2%) and North American Indian (5.2%). The 2006 Census enumerated 255,885 individuals with at least some Aboriginal ancestry in Alberta (169,355 North American Indian, 83,235 Métis, and 3,295 Inuit).

Visible Minorities: Alberta was home to 454,200 people belonging to a visible minority group in 2006, up from 329,925 in 2001. These individuals represented 13.9% of the province’s total population in 2006, the third highest proportion of visible minorities in the Canada after British Columbia (24.8%) and Ontario (22.8%), In 2001, visible minorities accounted for 11.2% of the population of Alberta.

Between 2001 and 2006, Alberta’s visible minority population increased by 37.7%, more than three times faster than the 10.7% growth rate of the province during this period.

Chinese was the largest visible minority group in Alberta, accounting for about one in four visible minorities living in the province in 2006. 3.7% of Alberta’s total population were members of the Chinese visible minority group in 2006, the third highest proportion in the country after British Columbia (10.0%) and Ontario (4.8%). Alberta’s South Asian visible minority group represented 3.2% of the province’s total population, also the third highest proportion in Canada after Ontario (6.6%) and British Columbia (6.4%).

In 2006, 26.5% of Alberta’s total visible minority population were members of the Chinese visible minority group (120,270), 22.9% South Asian (103,885), 11.2% Filipino (51,090), 10.4% Black (47,075), 6.3% Southeast Asian (28,610), and 6.0% Latin American (27,265).

The vast majority (91%) of Alberta’s visible minority population lived in one of the province’s two census metropolitan areas (CMAs), Calgary and Edmonton.

The 2006 Census counted 237,890 individuals who belonged to a visible minority group in the CMA of Calgary, an increase of 44.3% over 2001. At 22.2%, Calgary had the fourth highest proportion of visible minorities among Canada’s 33 census metropolitan areas in 2006.

Chinese was the largest visible minority group in the CMA of Calgary (66,400), accounting for 6.2% of the total population, and 27.9% of the visible minority population of the CMA. In 2006, the proportion of Chinese in Calgary was the third highest in Canada, behind Vancouver and Toronto. Calgary’s Chinese population increased 28.0% since 2001.

South Asian was the second largest visible minority group in Calgary in 2006 (57,700), accounting for 5.4% of Calgary’s total population, and 24.3% of its visible minority population. Calgary’s South Asian population increased by 56.5% between 2001 and 2006.

Visible minorities accounted for 17.1% of Edmonton’s total population in 2006, up from 14.6% in 2001. This was the fifth highest proportion among Canada’s census metropolitan areas. Reaching 175,295 in 2006, Edmonton’s visible minority population grew by 29.1% between 2001 and 2006, almost three times faster than the 10.6% growth rate for the overall population of Edmonton.

Chinese comprised the largest visible minority group in Edmonton, representing 4.6% of Edmonton’s total population, and 26.9% of the CMA’s visible minority population. South Asian was the second largest visible minority group in Edmonton, representing 3.9% of Edmonton’s total population, and 22.9% of its visible minority population.

Commuting Patterns: Census data shows that the median distance travelled by Alberta workers to get to work increased by 0.7 kilometres over the previous 10 years, rising from 6.9 kilometres in 1996 to 7.1 kilometres in 2001 and to 7.6% kilometres in 2006, the same as the median commuting distance at the national level. Albertans have the fourth longest commute in Canada, after workers in Ontario (8.7 km), Nova Scotia (8.4 km) and Quebec (7.8 km).

About 157,500 more workers were driving to work in Alberta in 2006, but the overall proportion of workers driving to work decreased in the past five years, from 76.2% in 2001 to 74.3% in 2006.

The proportion of commuters using public transit to get to work in Alberta continues to increase – from 7.7% in 1996, to 7.9% in 2001, and 9.2% in 2006. At the same time, with a rate of 5.9%, Alberta had the second lowest proportion of workers who walked to work in Canada, after Ontario (5.6%). 1.1% of Albertans bicycled to work in 2006, down from 1.2% in 2001.

The median commuting distance for workers who live in Calgary was 8.2 kilometres in 2006, up from 7.7 km in 2001. This ranks Calgary fifth out of Canada’s 33 census metropolitan areas for commuting distance. The percentage of workers using public transit in Calgary increased from 12.6% in 1996 to 13.2% in 2001, and increased to 15.6% in 2006. Calgary ranks fifth out of Canada’s census metropolitan areas for public transit use.

The median commuting distance for workers who live in Edmonton was 7.8 kilometres in 2006, up slightly from 7.6 km in 2001. The share of public transit use in Edmonton increased from 9.0% in 1996 to 8.7% in 2001 and 9.7% in 2006. Edmonton ranks tenth out of Canada’s census metropolitan areas for public transit use.

Places of Work: The proportion of workers in Alberta whose usual place of work was their home has fallen over the past five years, from 10.3% in 2001 to 8.9%. Between 2001 and 2006, Alberta experienced a 33.8% increase in the number of workers with no fixed workplace address, the largest percentage change in Canada after Newfoundland and Labrador, at 41.3%. In 2001, 11.8% of Alberta workers had no fixed workplace address; this increased to 13.7% in 2006, the highest rate in Canada.

As a consequence of Alberta’s booming economy, more people worked in this province while having their usual place of residence in another. In 2006, 1.1% of workers whose usual place of residence was in Newfoundland and Labrador actually worked in Alberta. This was considerably higher than the proportion of 0.3% in 2001. About 1.7% of workers whose usual place of residence was in Saskatchewan worked in Alberta in 2006, up from 1.2% five years earlier.

Comprehensive data as well as two analytical articles titled “Canada’s Ethnocultural Mosaic, 2006 Census” and “Community Patterns and Places of Work of Canadians, 2006 Census” respectively are now available at Statistics Canada’s website (www.statcan.ca). A variety of thematic maps on place of work and mode of transportation are also available.

2006 Census Ethnic origin, Visible Minorities, Commuting Patterns and Places of Work of Canadians National Highlights and Alberta Quick Facts summarizing the data contained in today’s release are attached for your convenience.

Conducted every five years, the census provides a statistical portrait of the nation’s population at a particular point in time. Additional results on Canadians’ income, earnings and shelter costs will be released on May 1, 2008.

Statistics Canada thanks the people of Canada for participating in the 2006 Census.

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For more information, contact Sherry Wallace, Communications Manager of Statistics Canada’s Western Region and Northern Territories, at (306) 780-3880 or Media Relations, Communications and Library Services Division, at (613) 951-4636.

Ce communiqué est aussi disponible en français.

Sherry Wallace
Regional Communications Manager
Western Region and Northern Territories
(306) 780-3880; sherry.wallace@statcan.ca

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