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CMA profile: Toronto

Toronto’s visible minority population could double
by 2031: new population projections

March 9, 2010

OTTAWA — The visible minority population of the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Toronto could more than double from 2.3 million in 2006 to nearly 5.6 million by 2031, according to new population projections.

During the same period, the rest of Toronto’s population is expected to increase at a much more modest rate of roughly 8%.

The census metropolitan area of Toronto stretches from Oshawa in the east to Burlington in the west and Barrie in the north.  It includes municipalities such as the City of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham and Richmond Hill.

These projections on Toronto’s diversity are based on a ‘reference scenario’, that is, the medium assumptions of how the population might evolve as determined by analyzing recent demographic trends.  Others include a low-growth scenario that assumes low fertility, life expectancy and immigration, and a high-growth scenario that assumes high levels of each.

By 2031, the visible minority population could account for nearly 63% of Toronto’s total population, up from 43% in 2006.  It would also represent 43% of Canada’s entire population of visible minority people.

More than three-quarters (78%) of Toronto’s population could be either immigrants or children born in Canada of immigrant parents by 2031.

South Asians, already the largest visible minority group in the census metropolitan area of Toronto as determined by the 2006 Census, would likely remain so by 2031.  This population could triple from 718,000 to 2.1 million.

As a result, South Asians would represent 24% of Toronto’s population by 2031, up from 14% in 2006.  Two contributing factors would be a high volume of South Asian immigrants and a fertility rate that is higher than many other visible minority groups.

Chinese would likely remain the second largest visible minority group in the Toronto census metropolitan area in 2031.  Their numbers could nearly double during the period from 510,000 to 1.1 million, mainly the result of immigration.  However, their proportion of Toronto’s population would rise modestly from 10% to about 12%.

The Chinese group has one of the lowest fertility rates of all visible minority groups.

Toronto’s population of Arabs and West Asians could more than triple between 2006 and 2031, reflecting the trend at the national level.  The Arab population is projected to increase from 56,000 to 202,000, while the West Asian population could jump from 79,000 to 254,000.

Toronto’s population with a non-Christian religious denomination could nearly triple over the next two decades.  Projections show that people with a non-Christian religion could represent nearly 31% of the census metropolitan area’s population by 2031, up from 21% in 2006.

Conversely, the proportion of Toronto’s population that has a Christian religion could decline from 62% to 49%.  The population with no religious affiliation would remain relatively steady, rising from 18% to 20%.


For more information, contact Media Relations at 613-951-4636.

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