Visible minorities made up 16.2% of the total population in Canada in 2006, according to the newly-released 2006 Census data.
Visible minorities are defined as “persons, other than Aboriginal persons, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.”
Interestingly, South Asians have surpassed Chinese as the largest visible minority group.
The South Asians became Canada’s largest visible minority group in 2006, surpassing Chinese for the first time. The populations of both were well over 1 million.
The 2006 Census enumerated an estimated 1,262,900 individuals who identified themselves as South Asian, a growth rate of 37.7% from 917,100 individuals in 2001. They represented one-quarter (24.9%) of all visible minorities, or 4.0% of the total population in Canada.
In contrast, the number of individuals who identified themselves as Chinese increased 18.2% from 1,029,400 in 2001 to 1,216,600 in 2006. Chinese accounted for 24.0% of the visible minority population and 3.9% of the total Canadian population.
The number of those identifying themselves as Black, the third largest visible minority group, rose 18.4% from 662,200 individuals in 2001 to an estimated 783,800. They accounted for 15.5% of the visible minority population and 2.5% of the total population in 2006.
Other visible minority groups included Filipinos, who represented 8.1% of the visible minority population, Latin Americans (6.0%), Arabs (5.2%), Southeast Asians (4.7%), West Asians (3.1%), Koreans (2.8%) and Japanese (1.6%).