Canada is more diverse than ever, according to new data released Wednesday from the 2011 National Household Survey.
The new voluntary survey, which replaced the mandatory long-form census, was given to about 4.5 million households across Canada. Though Statistics Canada stresses the limitation of a voluntary survey, the first results reveal a country with growing foreign-born and aboriginal populations.
Here are five highlights from the data:
1. Canada is home to more than 200 ethnic origins. Thirteen of these origins have populations of more than one million people. And nearly 6,264,800 people — about one in five — identify themselves as visible minorities.
2. Of the G8 countries, Canada has the highest proportion of foreign-born people: 20.6 per cent. However, outside of the G8 nations, Australia surpasses Canada — 26.8 per cent of Australia's population was born outside of the country.
3. The aboriginal population is growing faster than the non-aboriginal population. Between 2006 and 2011, it grew by 20 per cent, or 232,385 people. That’s 14.9 per cent higher than the growth of Canada's non-aboriginal population.
4. Due to higher fertility rates and shorter life expectancy, Canada's aboriginal population is also much younger than the non-aboriginal population. The median age of aboriginal people in Canada is 28 compared to 41 for non-aboriginal people.
5. More Inuit are able to speak an aboriginal language than other aboriginal groups. Tens of thousands of aboriginal people reported speaking aboriginal languages as a second language.
Stay tuned for more results from the National Household Survey as they are released this summer.