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The Changing Canadian Population

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 384
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    The Changing Canadian Population
    Book Description:

    Current social and economic changes in Canada raise many questions. Will Canada's education system be able to maintain its competitiveness when faced with increasing globalization? Will the growing numbers of immigrants and their children be successfully integrated? How will Canada's social institutions respond to a rapidly aging population? The Changing Canadian Population assembles answers from many of Canada's most distinguished scholars, who reassess the current state of society and Canada's preparedness for the challenges of the future.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-9082-3
    Subjects: History
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-2)
  3. Introduction (pp. 3-20)

    Most countries conduct periodic population censuses to serve electoral and legislative needs, such as assigning the number of parliamentary seats for each province and setting the boundaries for legislative members. Population censuses also assist government in important policy and program functions, such as coordinating and planning education, health, labour force, and other public policies. Canada has conducted regular population censuses since 1851 and, since 1951, has taken population censuses every five years.

    In addition to functions directly related to government, Canada’s population censuses have other important uses. Businesses rely on census data to understand the market potential for their products...

    • 1 Population Growth: From Fast Growth to Possible Decline (pp. 23-40)

      Canada’s population grew rapidly over the period from the 1850s to 1960. Since then, the pace of growth has gradually slowed. At present the total population of the country is somewhat more than 33 million people, a number that will increase slowly compared with the past if the current growth trajectory continues. This chapter concerns the reasons why Canada’s population grew quickly in the past and why it is growing slowly now, future population growth scenarios, the challenges that slow population growth will create for the well-being of Canadians, and how these challenges can be addressed. These issues are examined...

    • 2 Canada’s Age and Sex Composition (pp. 41-59)

      This chapter is devoted to an examination of age and sex composition, with special reference to Canada based on the data from the 2001 census. The term “composition” is used to mean the distribution of the population in accordance with the intersecting characteristics of age and sex. In some aspects of the ensuing discussion, age and sex are treated together, as when one speaks of a population’s age-sex distribution, or of age-specific sex ratios. In other places, emphasis is on age composition without direct reference to sex.

      Besides their obvious biological dimensions, age and sex are undoubtedly two of the...

    • 3 Households and Housing in Canada (pp. 60-80)

      Households are basic socio-demographic units as much as families are. In practice, we use the two terms, households and families, interchangeably since in most contexts family types determine household types. Yet, the distinction between the two is important while computing statistical measures because most of these measures depend on the base used in the calculations (that is, whether households or families). The measures presented in this chapter are based on households, unless stated otherwise.

      Households and families are dynamic not only in their composition, but also in their definition. The two were assumed to be identical in their definitions, therefore...

    • 4 The Educational Attainment of Canadians (pp. 83-98)

      The coming of post-industrial society, as Daniel Bell (1973) presciently observed over thirty years ago, placed knowledge workers at the centre of the modern economy. The steady growth of technology and intense competition from societies in the developing world, with lower costs of production, have led to significant declines in employment, first in primary industries, and, more recently, in manufacturing. Manual skill and strength count for less while the ability to work with information is now a prerequisite for employment in the modern economy. And, as Peter Drucker (1994, 2) has observed, “the knowledge worker gains access to work, job...

    • 5 Low Income Status by Population Groups, 1961–2001 (pp. 99-117)

      In the 1961 census monograph series, Podoluk (1968) included a chapter on “Low income and poverty” as part of Incomes of Canadians. The concept of low income was initially developed by Podoluk, and it has become the most common concept used in the discussion of poverty in Canada. This chapter makes comparisons between the 1961 and 2001 census, in terms of the population groups that are most affected by low income.

      The 1961 census was the information base on which much of Canada’s welfare state was developed in the 1960s. Canada was rather different forty years ago. Families were mostly...

    • 6 Labour Force (pp. 118-132)

      This chapter examines the Canadian and provincial/ territorial labour force from the perspective of the 2001 Canadian Census with appropriate use of the 1991 Canadian Census when it is useful to show changes over that ten year time period. Since a Canadian census is taken only every five years, the emphasis will be on structural changes to the Canadian labour force rather than on cyclical changes. It would be inappropriate to use census data for the latter changes because they can occur at intervals of less than ten years or even five years and they tend to exhibit no trend;...

    • 7 Occupation and Industry (pp. 133-152)

      The division of labour in any society can be characterized by observing both what is produced and the tasks that individual workers engage in to produce it. These two aspects of the division of labour are measured in the Census of Canada by means of questions that ascertain a respondent’s industry of employment (what does he or she produce, or what is the nature of the business carried out by the respondent’s employer?) and occupation (what kind of work does the person do?). Industry structure represents a horizontal dimension of the division of labour, since there is no implication that...

    • 8 Spatial Distribution of Racial and Ethnic Groups in Canada (pp. 155-174)

      Canada is a country of immigrants. People from many different countries have arrived in different periods. They settled in different parts of the country in response to the social and economic contexts at the time of their arrival. Gradually, settlement patterns associated with distinctive ethnic and linguistic groups in different regions emerged, sometimes referred to “multicultural regionalism” (Driedger 1996).

      One of the most discussed and documented patterns of multicultural regionalism is the majority French population in Quebec. Their settlement pattern dates back to a few centuries ago when Samuel de Champlain settled in Montreal in 1608 (Quellet 1980). Since then,...

    • 9 Urbanization and the Growth of the Canadian City (pp. 175-189)

      According to the 2001 Census, nearly 80 percent of Canada’s population lived in an urban area, with Canada’s urban hierarchy dominated by Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver. With populations of 4.7, 3.4, and 2.0 million, respectively, these three metropolitan areas accounted for 35 percent of Canada’s population in 2001. Canada’s evolving urban settlement system is, however, much more than these three centres. Over the 1996 to 2001 interval, Canada’s urban population grew faster (6.5 percent) than its overall population growth (4.0 percent), Ottawa-Gatineau joined the list of one-million cities, and Canada’s population became increasingly concentrated in its largest urbanized regions, creating...

    • 10 Internal Migration (pp. 190-206)

      The residents of Canada are a very mobile population. During a single year, more than 2 million, or about 13 percent, of the nation’s population move from one house to another, about 4 percent move within their province of residence, and 1–in-100 move from one province to another. Relatively few Canadians spend their entire lives in their communities of birth, and many move from one province to another more than once. The purpose of this chapter is to show that internal migration is not the movement of only a few residents or an aimless wandering, but that it is...

    • 11 Immigrants in Canada: Trends and Issues (pp. 207-232)

      International migration, here defined as the movement of people across international borders for purposes of permanent settlement, has long contributed to Canada’s population growth, economic and political development, and demographic and social diversity. Following the ancient settlement of Canada by the Aboriginal peoples, British and French migrants began to arrive in the 1600s. Although migration from France virtually ceased after British victory in the Seven Years War (1756–1763), British migration continued. During the 1700 and 1800s, migrants also came from the United States, Ireland, Northern Europe, and by the second half of the 19th century, many were from Eastern...

    • 12 Changing Canadian Families (pp. 235-252)

      The concept “modern family” refers to any domestic kinship group established through marriage, common-law, birth, consanguinity, or adoption, and represents a primary social institution in Western societies. The popular image Canadians associate with “family” is a household that includes a married heterosexual couple and their dependent children, the nuclear family, even though this designation does not capture the total diversity characterizing numerous Western families. In several respects, the so-called “traditional nuclear family” – i.e., a household containing a husband, wife, their dependent children, and organized around the male breadwinner and female homemaker model – is a highly idealized institution epitomized...

    • 13 Children and Youth (pp. 253-274)

      Children have been described as “the ultimate resource” for a society’s long term well-being and social and economic development (Simon 1982). The absolute and relative number of young people has a variety of important ramifications for many societal institutions, both over the shorter and longer terms (Preston 1984). The baby bust of the latter 1960s and many years of below-replacement fertility have brought considerable decline in the relative number of children in Canada. As a result, the very fabric of Canadian society and culture has changed. During the baby-boom era, Canada was very youth-oriented and child-centered, whereas by the turn...

    • 14 Canada’s Elderly (pp. 275-290)

      The aging of the Canadian population has received increasing attention. Changes in the number and percentage of aging people in a population has numerous implications for societal structures, including family, health care, pensions, political processes, community, consumption, and the labor and housing market. The impact of aging on the Canadian society and economy has been a central issue for policy makers and researchers since the mid-1990s. It also poses challenges and opportunities to society and the economy. The 2001 census data show that as of 15 May 2001 the median age in Canada had reached 37.6 years, increasing by 2.3...

    • 15 Ethnic Origins of Canadians (pp. 293-312)

      Canada has become increasingly diverse since Confederation in 1867. A population dominated by the two Charter or founding populations, English and French, rapidly grew and became more diverse through immigration from other parts of Europe. While the population of European-origin immigrants and their descendants increased, the indigenous population experienced decline from the time of Europeans’ arrival, a trend that was not reversed until the early years of the twentieth century.¹ In recent decades, immigrants from Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and other regions of the world have added to Canada’s population growth and ethnic diversity.

      The population characteristics associated with...

    • 16 Indigenous Peoples (pp. 313-329)

      The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the socio-economic characteristics of the Indigenous¹ population of Canada, the provinces, and the territories. I focus on education, income, occupation, and employment patterns and trends as indicators of socio-economic status (see also O’Sullivan 2004). Canadian Census data on many indicators of socio-economic well-being has consistently shown that Indigenous people fare worse than the non-Indigenous population in terms of education, income, and labour force participation (Bernier 1997; Cooke, Beavon, and McHardy 2004; Frideres and Gadacz 2005; Gerber 1990; Tait 1999; O’Donnell and Tait 2004). On average, Status Indians earn $10,000...

    • 17 Religion in Canada (pp. 330-346)

      A question about the religious affiliation of preference of Canadians has been asked at every decennial census since 1871. According to the 2001 Census user guide, the intent of the question has been to count the numbers who indicate that they adhere to, belong to, or favour a specific religious denomination or body or otherwise defined community. The question has never measured church attendance or membership per se.

      Religion as defined by the 2001 Census Dictionary (Statistics Canada 2002) refers to specific religious denominations, groups, or bodies, as well as to sects, cults, or other religiously defined communities or systems...

    • 18 Language and Demography (pp. 347-366)

      Linguistic duality sets Canada apart. Like the United States and Australia, it includes Aboriginal languages as well as languages that are associated with immigration (i.e. heritage languages). But French and English hold a special place. They have equal status at the federal level, as well as in New Brunswick, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (incorporated into the Constitution in 1982), sections 16 to 20. Section 23 recognizes also that the official-language-minority communities of a province have a right to primary and secondary instruction in their language. In Quebec, French is the sole official language according to the...

  9. Index (pp. 367-371)