Major Ethnic Groups of Canada

Many people in this multicultural country feel themselves uniquely Canadian. Canada is a multicultural country with a population of over 35 million people, or approximately 0.5% of the world’s population. Ontario has the most people, with 13 million, followed by Quebec (8 million) and British Columbia (4.6 million). The largest city in Canada is Toronto, followed by Montreal. The majority of Canadians identify as “Canadian.” However, Canada is one of the most diversified countries in the world, and ethnic origin survey results are quite variable. The following is a list of the ethnicities that the majority of Canadians identify with. All figures are from the 2016 Census.

Major Ethnic Groups of Canada
Major Ethnic Groups of Canada ( Image Credit: Flickr )

Canadians – 32.32%

Although all Canadians are considered Canadians, many think that this word more accurately describes their ethnicity. Canadians are the country’s most prevalent ethnic group. Before Europeans came, Indigenous peoples (Inuit, Metis, and First Nations) lived in Canada. Canada had received a substantial number of immigrants from England, France, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Italy, and China by the late 1850s. People of many ethnic backgrounds can identify as “Canadian.”

English – 18.34%

People of English heritage, sometimes known as Anglo-Canadians, are Canada’s second most numerous self-identified ethnic group. The history of the English Canadians began in the 16th century with immigrants in Newfoundland. Immigration from England is still widespread today, owing to the loosening of immigration laws throughout Commonwealth countries.

Scottish – 13.93%

Scottish people are the third most common ethnic group with which Canadians identify. Nova Scotia was named following the Scottish influence and translates to “New Scotland” in Latin. Dalhousie University in Halifax, McGill University in Quebec, and Queens University are among the Canadian universities having Scottish heritage.

French – 13.55%

After Scottish, French is the second most often mentioned ethnic background in Canada. Their existence in Canada stretches back to the 18th century, when the French colonized parts of the continent. Quebec has the highest concentration of French Canadians. French Canadians are Canadians who speak French, however some people of French descent do not. The majority of Quebeckers are fluent in French.

Irish – 13.43%

Anglers from Cork landed in Newfoundland in 1536, beginning Irish history in Canada. Irish Canadians are separated into two groups depending on their religious beliefs: Roman Catholics and Protestants.

German – 9.64%

German is another common ethnic origin among Canadians. The city with the most German-speaking Canadians is Toronto, followed by Vancouver. Alexander von Humboldt School Montréal and German International School Toronto are two Canadian institutions where German is the primary language.

Italian – 4.61%

Another common ethnic group in Canada is Italian Canadians. Most major Canadian cities, including Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, have significant Italian communities whose populations have grown since the mid-twentieth century.

First Nations – 4.43%

First Nations people make up 1,525,565 Canadians, or 4.43% of the total population. The First Nations are an indigenous Canadian community who existed in what is now Canada prior to European arrival. From coast to coast, Canada recognizes 634 unique First Nations bands.

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What are the Major Ethnic Groups of Canada?

The majority of Canadians identify as “Canadian.” However, the most popular ethnic replies are English, French, Irish, and Scottish.

Ethnic Groups And Nationalities Of Canada

Ethnic GroupPercentage of Population Self-Identifying (%)
Canadian32.3
English18.3
Scottish13.9
French13.6
Irish13.4
German9.6
Chinese5.1
Italian4.6
First Nations4.4
Indian4.0
Ukrainian4.0
Dutch3.2
Polish3.2
Filipino2.4
Other British Isles1.9
Russian1.8
Metis1.7
Portuguese1.4
Welsh1.4
Norwegian1.3

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