This chapter provides an overview of selected demographic characteristics of the Black population in Canada (as noted in Chapter 1, 92.7% of the people associated with the HIV-endemic exposure subcategory in Canada are reported as having an ethnic origin associated with the Black population). It aims to provide a better understanding of the Black population’s size, growth, geographic distribution and immigration patterns. Because data from the 2006 census is still being analyzed, unless otherwise mentioned, information from the 2001 census was primarily used to prepare this section of the report.
The first Black person in the territory that is now Canada was reported in 1605. From 1628 to the early 1800s, Black slavery existed in Canada, particularly in Eastern Canada, where United Empire Loyalists often brought slaves with them when emigrating from the United States.
1700s and 1800s
Canada became home to Black Loyalists who had been promised land grants for supporting the British during the American Revolution. Many chose to remain in Canada and founded settlements in Nova Scotia, Ontario and, later in Western Canada with the opening of the frontier in the mid-1800s.
During the early 1900s, the growth in the Black population did not keep pace with that of other visible minority groups. Most Black people living in Canada during this time resided in south-western Ontario or the Atlantic provinces. During the next several decades, the number of Black people in Canada grew slowly. In the 1960s, immigration policy reforms eliminated preferences for immigrants of European origin and implemented a points-based system for economic immigrants to ensure maximum employability in an economy where skilled labour was becoming a priority. Consequently, the source countries of immigrants became more diversifi ed, resulting in increasing numbers of Black immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa.
(Source:  pp. 1-3).
According to the 2006 census, 783,795 Black people comprised 2.5% of the country’s population and 15.5% of the visible minority population . Black people are the third largest visible minority group in Canada. From 1991 to 2001, the Black population in Canada increased by 31%, while the country’s population grew by 10% and the visible minority population grew by 58% .
In 2001, the majority (97%) of Black people in Canada lived in urban areas, with nearly one-half (47% or 310,500), living in the Toronto metropolitan area. Montreal had the second largest Black population in the nation (139,300), representing over 4% of its population . It is estimated that by 2017, 27% of Montreal’s visible minority population will be composed of Black people . Figure 2 depicts the geographic distribution of the Black population in Canada.
Figure 2: Distribution of the Black population by provinces/territories and national proportional distribution (%), 2001 (n=662,215)
(Source  no p.).
This report compares the proportion of Black people who were fi rst-generationx immigrants (born outside Canada) with that of those who were born in Canada. Table 1 presents the Black population by immigrant status and age group in 2001. Note that 8.2% of Black immigrants to Canada were less than 15 years of age, compared to 54.9% of Black non-immigrants. This is explained by the fact that almost all third-generationxi and many second-generationxii individuals within the Black population were born in the late 1980s and 1990s.
Statistics Canada estimates that in 2001, 344,000 Black people, or 52% of the Black population of Canada, were fi rst-generation. This fi gure may actually be somewhat higher because a signifi cant number of immigrants from the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa may not have identifi ed themselves as being Black in the census. Upon clarifi cation from Statistics Canada, it would appear that up to 60,000 additional immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean are likely Black, but not counted as such .
A substantial number of second- and third-generation individuals within the Black population in Canada have their origins in the Caribbean. There are likely fewer third-generation Black people in Canada with origins in sub-Saharan Africa, given the relatively small number who arrived before 1980 (40,000 compared to 174,000 from the Caribbean). Among the Black population aged 15 years and older, second-generation Black people in Canada, or those who were Canadian-born with at least one parent born outside Canada, accounted for 19.5% of the Black population .
A small, but distinct subpopulation, made up of the descendants of Black people who arrived in Canada from the United States in the 19th century, have lived in this country for many generations. This subpopulation lives mostly in Nova Scotia and in communities in southwestern Ontario, stretching primarily from Windsor to the Niagara region, and in smaller numbers in Western Canada. While there is no precise estimate of the size of this population, it is known that 18,000 Black people were living in Canada in 1951 , before the fi rst wave of immigration from the Caribbean began. Based on available data and modelling, the estimated number of the “indigenous” Black population in Canada in 2001 was unlikely to be greater than 30,000, or about 5% of the total Black population .
|Age Group||Immigrant Status||Total Black Visible Minority Population|
|Immigrant population||%||Nonimmigrants||%||Nonpermanent residents||%|
|Less than 15 yrs.||28,320||8.2%||163,590||54.9%||3,210||16.1%||195,120|
|75 yrs. and over||8,255||2.4%||2,715||0.9%||125||0.6%||11,095|
(Source:  no p.).
In 2001, 10% of Canada’s Black population were thirdgeneration Canadian. In areas that have a long history of Black settlement, more than four in fi ve (84%) Black residents were at least third-generation Canadian. More than 90% of Black people living in Halifax in 2001 were Canadian-born, the highest proportion among census metropolitan areas . It is important to note that this group has no relation to the epidemiologic defi nition of people from countries where HIV is endemic.
Figure 3 shows the number of immigrants to Canada from the Caribbean by year of immigration since 1950 [8-9]. A substantial immigration wave began in the late 1960s, peaking in the 1970s, followed by second smaller wave in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Jamaica was the leading source of Black immigrants during this period, accounting for 30 - 40% of the total. Haiti was the second largest, accounting for nearly 20% of Black immigrants during the 1970s and 1980s .
Figure 3: Annual number of immigrants to Canada from the Caribbean Countries, 1950-2001
(Source: [8-9] no p.).
The pattern of immigration from sub-Saharan Africa is different as shown in Figure 4. Relatively few Black Africans immigrated to Canada before the 1970s, with numbers starting to increase in 1972. Following a moderate peak of immigration in the mid-1970s, the number of arrivals decreased again until a second, much larger wave took place in the 1990s. This wave continued until 2001, the latest year of available data [8-9].
Figure 4: Annual number of immigrants to Canada from sub-Saharan Africa, 1950-2001
As shown in Figure 5, the region of origin of Black immigrants has shifted dramatically over the past several decades. Before 1961, only 1% of Black people who came to Canada were born in Africa, while 72% were from the Caribbean and Central and South America. Less than 5% of Africans living in Canada in 2001 arrived before 1971, while slightly more than 50% arrived between 1991 and 2001. By comparison, only 29% of people from the Caribbean living in Canada in 2001 arrived in the previous decade. For Black people emigrating from Africa, the median year of arrival was 1991 and 1982 for those from the Caribbean .
Figure 5: Proportion of immigrant population by period of arrival and region of origin, Canada 2001
( Source:  no p.).
Data from the 2006 census show that 1,109,980 immigrants came to Canada between 2001 and 2006. Of these, 87,190 (7.9%) came from countries where HIV is endemic. Immigrants from Caribbean countries represented 2.8% (30,680) of the total number, coming mainly from three countries: 0.96% from Haiti (10,690), 0.85% from Jamaica (9,435) and 0.37% from Trinidad and Tobago (4,080). For the same period, the 56,500 immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 5.1% of the total number. They came primarily from the following countries: Nigeria 0.7% (7,285), Ethiopia 0.6% (6,650), Sudan 0.6% (6,495), Kenya 0.4% (4,285), Somalia 0.3% (3,865), and Ghana 0.3% (3,775) .
In Toronto, 57% of people in the city’s Black community were born outside Canada. Almost three quarters (73%) of the 178,200 foreign-born Black people in Toronto were born in the Caribbean and South and Central America, predominantly Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana .
Similarly, the majority of people in Montreal’s Black community (55%) were foreign-born and came to Canada predominantly from the Caribbean and South and Central America. In 2001, 78% (76,200) foreignborn Blacks in Montreal were born in these regions, primarily Haiti. Less than one-fi fth (18%) of the foreignborn Black people in 2001 were born in Africa .
According to Statistics Canada  48% of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa and 61% of immigrants from the Caribbean were Black. Thus, a substantial proportion of immigrants from the Caribbean and sub- Saharan Africa are not Black. The majority of non-Black immigrants from these two regions were of South Asian ethnicity (25% for sub-Saharan Africa and 12% for the Caribbean) or were non-visible minorities (20% for sub- Saharan Africa and 6% for the Caribbean).
Conversely, not all Black immigrants are of Caribbean or sub-Saharan African origin. About 7% of Black immigrants to Canada were born in other regions, with substantial numbers arriving from the United Kingdom and the United States. These two countries alone accounted for almost 60% of Black immigrants from regions other than sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean .
As shown in Figure 6, 66.6% of Black immigrants were born in the Caribbean and Bermuda, 28.5% in Africa and 4.9% in Central or South America .
Figure 6: Regions of birth for Black immigrant populations, Canada 2001
(Source:  no p.).
In 2001, the Black population in Canada was younger than the Canadian population as a whole. Children under the age of 15 years accounted for 29.5% of the Black population, compared with 19.3% of Canada’s total population. In addition, 16.7% of Black people were aged 15 to 24 years, compared with 13.5% of the overall population. Only 4.9% of Black people were aged 65 years or over, less than half the proportion of the Canadian population (12.2%) .
Women and female children constitute over half (52.3%) of Canada’s Black population. This percentage is comparable to the general population .
According to the 2001 census, a larger proportion of Canada’s Black population (72.3%) reported speaking English most often at home than was the case for the overall population (66.7%). The census also revealed that 14.3% of Black people spoke French most often at home, compared to 21.8% of the total population. Approximately 9.1% of Black people in Canada (60,490) reported speaking a non-offi cial language most often at home, which is comparable to the national average of 9.7% .
According to the 2001 census, 28.2% of Black people aged 15 years and over reported having less than a high school graduation certifi cate, compared to 31.3% for the total population. A slightly smaller proportion of Black people in Canada age 15 years and over (12.7%) reported having a university degree compared to the Canadian population as a whole (15.4%) .
Foreign- and Canadian-born Black people of prime working age were just as likely to have a university education as the overall population aged 25 to 54 years (about one in fi ve). However, foreign-born Black people were much less likely to have a university education than other immigrants. In 2001, 20% of Black people born outside of Canada of prime working age had a university education, compared with 32% of all prime working-age immigrants. On the other hand, recent Black immigrants – admission of immigrants has increasingly emphasized skills, which promote economic independence once in Canada – tend to be better educated and more highly skilled than Canadian-born Black people .
During the 1990s, employment rates for Canadian-born Black people improved, while those of foreign-born Black people remained the same. In 2001, the age-standardized employment rate of prime working-age, Canadianborn Black people (76%) was lower than the rate for all Canadian-born persons of prime working age (81%). Although foreign-born Black people aged 25 to 54 years were substantially less likely to be university educated than other immigrants, employment rates were the same for both groups in both 1991 and 2001, at about 77% .
National unemployment rates were lower in 2001 than in 1991, but unemployment rates for Black people were higher than for all prime working-age adults. In 1991, Canadian-born and foreign-born Black people of prime working age both had age-standardized unemployment rates of 12.5%. By 2001, Canadian-born Black people had a 7.9% unemployment rate, compared with 9.6% for foreign-born Black people .
Although Canadian-born Black people aged 25 to 54 years were just as likely to have a university education as all Canadian-born persons in this age group, the average employment income of Canadian-born Black people in 2001 was substantially lower, at $29,700, than for Canadian-born persons as a whole, at $37,200. The younger age distribution of the Black population may contribute to the earnings gap, as younger people usually have lower earnings. Age-standardizing the average employment income of Canadian-born Black people in this age group increases it to $32,000 and reduces the earnings gap. From 1991 to 2001, the agestandardized average employment income of Canadian- born Black people aged 25 to 54 years increased by 7%, compared with a 9% increase for all Canadian-born persons in this age group .
In the case of foreign-born Black people aged 25 to 54 years, although they were less likely to be university educated than foreign-born persons as a whole, the earnings gap between the two groups was narrower than for Canadian-born Black people and Canadianborn persons as a whole. Foreign-born Black people in this age group had an average employment income of $28,700 in 2000, compared to $34,800 for foreign-born persons in this age group as a whole. Age-standardizing the average employment income of foreign-born Black people increases it to $29,200. From 1990 to 2000, the age-standardized average employment income for foreign-born Blacks aged 25 to 54 years decreased by 5%, while it decreased by less than 1% for all foreignborn Canadians in this age group .
In 2001, 47% of Black people over the age of 15 in Canada were single, 35% were married, 3% widowed and 9% divorced. These fi gures did not include Black people in Canada who were separated but legally married . Of the nearly 118,000 couples involving Black people in 2001, 57% involved two Black partners and 43% were composed of a Black person and a non-Black person (most often a Black male and a white female) . Insuffi cient data were found to quantify the status of Black same-sex or same-gender partnerships in Canada.
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