New stats reveal Canada’s Latin American community includes more than 1.1 million people

The Hispanic-Latin American population in Canada has doubled in size, according to new data from the 2021 census. The Canadian Hispanic Congress (CHC) requested a custom tabulation to better reflect the community’s demographic reality, defining the Hispanic/Spanish-speaking or Descent Population as individuals with Spanish as an official or majority language in their country of origin. Statistics Canada presented the data based on mother tongue, place of birth, and ethnic origins, revealing that the Hispanic population now accounts for 3.3% of Canada’s total population. The 2021 census identified 580,000 Canadians of Latin American origin, but the new data increased that number to 1,193,880. The diversity of the community, spanning 21 different countries, had previously led to fragmented census data, hindering an accurate portrayal. Hispanic Canadian organizations plan to use the updated numbers to advocate for recognition and potential increases in social programs for the community. Challenges to census participation include shared living arrangements, language barriers, lack of information, and privacy concerns. Despite imperfections, census data facilitates discussions and actions for positive change, according to Tony Labillois, StatsCan’s director general of Justice Statistics, Diversity and Population Directorate.

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