I am Canadian - ARCHIVED

Articles and reports: 11-008-X20040047774


The people of Canada have a long tradition of identifying themselves according to the land or nation of their sometimes remote ancestors. Over the past few decades, however, a rapidly growing number have begun describing themselves in the census as Canadians. The proportion of the population claiming some element of Canadian ethno-cultural ancestry climbed from fewer than 1% in 1986 to nearly 40% in 2001, making it by far the most common ethno-cultural ancestry reported on the census.

Using data from the censuses of population, this article explores the potential reasons behind these changes. It begins by discussing our understanding of ethnicity and how it has changed over time. The article then reviews some of the meanings attached specifically to Canadian ethnicity and follows by examining the characteristics of individuals who, according to the 2001 Census, reported having a Canadian ethnic background.

Issue Number: 2004004
Author(s): Thomas, Derrick

Main Product: Canadian Social Trends

FormatRelease dateMore information
PDFMarch 8, 2005