Ethnic Groups And Nationalities Of Canada

Many residents of the country today consider themselves distinctly Canadian, as differentiated from a European heritage.

Canada had a total population of 33,476,688 people in its 2011 census. Due to the multiple ethnic groups and nationalities, Canada declared itself a multicultural government in the 1960s and 1980s. Approximately 40% of Canada’s population is made up of emigrants. British and French groups are the oldest and largest occupants of Canada and are responsible for its history.


Although all citizens of Canada are considered as Canadians, in 1996 a majority of the eastern residents of the country used the term referring to their ancestry. Canadians are the leading ethnic group in Canada with a total percentage of 21.6%. By the late 1850s, Canada had received some emigrants such as the English, French, Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, and Chinese. Due to the different backgrounds of the people who settled in Canada, the country has become multicultural with diverse religions and cultures.


Also known as, Anglo-Canadian make up 14.1% of Canada’s population, and the English-speaking Canadians are also known as English Canadians. The history of the English Canadians dates back to when English men from England settled in Newfoundland during the 16th century. Presently, the central area the English Canadians occupy is still in Newfoundland and Labrador the reason based on the migration of Irish and English ancestors after the Irish potato famine. Most of the English Canadians were Roman Catholics and Protestants but even with a 73% of them being Christians, it is still impossible to accurately view religion as a defining factor for the English group.


With a 10.6% of Canada’s population, French Canadians are the third leading ethnic group in Canada. Their history in Canada dates back when the French colonized regions of Northern America and Canada during the 18th century. Quebec has the largest population of French Canadians. Canadians who speak French are considered French Canadians although some do not speak the language but are of French ancestry. During the late 1960s, the French Canadians used the French language in schools, hospitals and social areas for their cultural activities. Six million Quebecers are French speakers and the rest 7.7% are English speakers. Christianity is the dominant belief among the French Canadians, and protestant members are the minority group among them. The church was influential in the community as it was the force behind running of schools, hospitals, orphanages, and social gathering places in their society. But ironically the church attendance in Quebec has dropped drastically since the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s. The French Canadians practice agriculture and have reared their breeds of animals such as cattle, horses, and poultry.


The fourth leading ethnic groups in Canada are the Scottish Canadians totaling up 10.1% of the whole population. They trace their ancestral history from the Scotts who traveled from Scotland in the 1622 but during the 1760s and 1860s was the time millions of Scotts migrated from Great Britain. The province of Nova Scotia which means “New Scotland” in Latin is still to date the home to Scottish immigrants who play the leading role in the province. Dalhousie University in Halifax, McGill University in Quebec, and Queens University are universities in Canada that have Scottish influences. Scottish culture is annually celebrated in Ontario at the Glengarry Highland Games.


The Irish Canadians make up 9.3% of Canada’s total population and their history in Canada dates back to 1536 when anglers from Cork and arrived in Newfoundland. The Irish Canadians have been divided in two based on their beliefs, and these include the Roman Catholic and the Protestant Irish. The Irish Protestant community established themselves as farmers while the Catholic Irish incorporated into the society by the help of the church.


6.8% of Canada’s population is made up of Canadians with German ethnicity. The German emigrants arrived when they set three conquests to Nova Scotia and opted to settle there, and their numbers increased during the late 1750s, and this can be the reason why most towns in Nova Scotia are of German origin. Toronto has the leading number of German speaking Canadians followed by Vancouver. Alexander von Humboldt School Montréal and German International School Toronto are the two German schools in Canada. The government of Canada has put in place measures that build integrated, socially cohesive society by creating opportunities to encourage intercultural existence. The different cultures freely associate together freely and come together to share their ideas and beliefs.

Ethnic Groups And Nationalities Of Canada

RankSelf-Identified Principle Ethnicity or NationalityShare of Canadian Population
9First Nations or Native American2.7%

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