Census sees increase in Aboriginal population
- EFN Staff | November 03, 2017
Statistics Canada recently released results from the 2016 Census of Population for First Nations people, Metis and Inuit.
Last year, there were 1,673,785 Aboriginal people in Canada which accounts for 4.9% of the total population – an increase from 3.8% in 2006.
The Aboriginal population has grown by 42.5% the past decade, which is more than four times the growth rate of the non-Aboriginal population over the same period, according to Stats Canada. The data was collected in urban areas and First Nations people living on reserve and Inuit in Nunangat.
Stats Canada stated the number of Aboriginal people will continue to grow quickly and predicts that in the next two decades, the Aboriginal population is likely to exceed 2.5 million persons according to population projections.
“Two main factors have contributed to the growing Aboriginal population: the first is natural growth, which includes increased life expectancy and relatively high fertility rates,” stated in the Stats Canada website. “The second factor relates to changes in self-reported identification. Put simply, more people are newly identifying as Aboriginal on the census—a continuation of a trend over time.”
The Census data measured a 10-year span from 2006 to 2016. The statistics show a 39.3% increase for the First Nations population totalling 977,230 people. The largest increase was the Metis population of 51.2% with a total of 587,545 with Ontario being the province with the largest count. The Inuit population increased by 29.1% with a total of 65,025.
“There was growth for both on reserve (+12.8%) and off reserve (+49.1%) First Nations populations from 2006 to 2016,” according to the 2016 Census. “Over half of First Nations people live in the western provinces…with more than half of First Nations people living in British Columbia (17.7%), Alberta (14.0%), Manitoba (13.4%) and Saskatchewan (11.7%).”