Statistics Canada projects that large Canadian cities’ populations will be mostly “visible minority” by 2036. This immediately prompted the Star to warn that White people would be the visible minority in Toronto by that time.

This would make sense if you thought all White people are the same, a point made by the competing newspaper. (Jeffrey Reitz: “25 years ago they were issuing reports on how cities like Toronto were no longer majority British…. Now the Italians and the Poles are considered part of the dominant population.”) Obviously Italians look just like Serbs.

And the claim makes sense only if you are such a racist you can’t differentiate non-whites. I’m not talking about people who cannot, for the life of them, pick out a Japanese in a crowd of Chinese, let alone a Korean or Vietnamese. I mean people so racially biased that nonwhites are a massive blur. By 2036, these people will believe they are completely outnumbered by a teeming throng that surrounds them on the subway and on downtown streets.

But White people will not per se be a visible minority. Inspecting the actual statistics in Table 7 of the report (PDF), one scenario shows the following percentages for Toronto in 2036:

  • Not a visible minority (this means White people but not aboriginals): 37.2%
  • South Asian (this means Indic): 23.8%
  • Black: 8.0%
  • Chinese, 12.4%; Filipino, 4.6%; Korean, 1.6%; Japanese, 0.4%; Southeast Asian (this means Oriental but not Chinese, Korean, Filipino, or Japanese): 1.6%
  • Latin American: 2.6%
  • Arab, 2.3%; West Asian (this means Middle Eastern but not Arab, e.g., Persian and Pashtoun), 2.9%
  • Other visible minorities: 2.7%

If you’re good at numbers, which it seems the Toronto Star isn’t, you can see that, like Hawaii, nobody will have a majority. Whites will have a plurality by about 14 percentage points (not “14%”). (Not many people know the word “plurality,” it seems.) Nine different categories, comprising more than nine distinct ethnic groups, would account for less than 10% of the Toronto population each, and their numbers will barely change from now till then. Reading these numbers, the actually interesting fact seems to be the large growth in the South Asian population (more than 10 percentage points).

Of course the Star has to take responsibility for its own coverage, but so does the writer – in this case Noor Javed, who did not respond to a question on the foregoing points.

In one projection given in Table A2, 871,000 more Muslims will live in Toronto (essentially triple the current population). Which do you think will affect daily life more – almost twice as many Indics or three times as many Muslims?

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2010.03.11 07:20. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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