Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Regional Science

How the Proportion of Artificial Canadians Varied among Regions of Canada and Ethnic Origins between 1991 and 1996

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Regional Science

How the Proportion of Artificial Canadians Varied among Regions of Canada and Ethnic Origins between 1991 and 1996

Article excerpt

Careful research assistance has been provided by Kwame Boadu, a graduate student in demography at the University of Alberta. Professor K Vaninadha Rao of the Bowling Green State University discussed usefully and positively another paper by this author involving the concept of artificial Canadians at a session on recent methodological developments in demography at the annual meeting of the Canadian Population Society, Ottawa, 3-5 June 1998. Important comments have been received from an anonymous peer reviewer at the Canadian Journal of Regional Science.

Karol J Krotki

Prairie Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration

and Integration (PCERII)

Department of Sociology, University of Alberta

Edmonton, AL T5N 3H9

Real Canadians vs Artificial Canadians

This paper presents regional variations in the ethnic integration of Canada as disclosed by interethnic marriages. For a century, reluctance and outright prohibition ruled against census declarations by a respondent of more than one ethnicity. In recent censuses respondents were permitted, even encouraged, to report all ethnicities that may have occured among their ancestors. There is a useful parallel with residential segregation, well-known among students of integration. Nobody asks: `did you move to your current address in order to improve the integration of the society?' Similarily, nobody asks `did your parents and/or other ancestors marry interethnically in order to increase the integration of the society?' The mere fact of physical movement or intermarriage is taken by analysts as an indicator of integration.

Canadian census takers of 1991 and 1996 coded interethnic marriages by giving a value of `one' to each of the ancestral ethnicities. They created in this manner new and valuable data. A respondent with, say, three ethnicities appeared

TABLE 1 Artificial Canadians in 1991 and 1996, guestimates for 2026

                                                   1991  1996  2026

1. Census population of Canada (1)=(2)+(3)        27       29    33
2. Respondents reporting SINGLE                   19       18     5
3. Respondents reporting MULTIethnicities (also    8       10    28
called `real' Canadians)
4. Total multiethnicities (2)                     21       24    84
5. Artificial Canadians (5)=(4)-(3)               13       14    56
6. Census and artificial Canadians added          40       43    89
together (6)=(1)+(5)
7. Multiethnicities per respondent reporting     2.7      2.4   3.0
multiethnicities (1) (7)=(4)/(3)

8. as one of multiethnicities                    0.7(3)   3.5    --
9. as a single ethnicity                          --      5.3    --
10. as one of multiethnicities + single           --      8.8    --
ethnicities (10)=(8)+(9)

Note: Except

(1) = all rows are in millions and subject to heavy rounding;

(2) = own calculations and/or extractions;

(3) = 3% according to Statistics Canada (19-98).

Sources: Ethnic origin. The nation. 1991. Catalogue 93-315. Ottawa:
Statistics Canada; The Daily. 1998. Catalogue nr 11-001E. Ottawa:
Statistics Canada. 1996 census: nation tables.
http://WWW.StatCan.CA/nic.htm. Ottawa: Statistics Canada; 2026 figures are
illustrative examples of possible developments suggested by the author.

three times in the data bank, but only one was a real person, the other two were artificial figments of the coding process. In short, the more "artificial Canadians" are reported in a region, the greater the social integration of the society in that region. A highly integrated Canada would contain, say, 33 milion real Canadians and 56 million artificial Canadians (table 1). Similarly, a region with a higher proportion of artificial Canadians would be taken as more integrated than other regions (see glossary at end of paper).

The proportion of people reporting multiethnicities in Canadian censues has risen rapidly over the last four censuses: 11 per cent in 1981, 28 in 1986, 31 in 1991 and 36 in 1996. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.