Demographic Characteristics of Japanese Canadians in 2016

How big is the population of Japanese Canadians in Canada? The best source of information for this question is the Census of Population by Statistics Canada. The Census has been taken every five years and the latest Census was taken in 2016. In the Census, there has been a question regarding the ethnic origin of a respondent. The response to this question can be used to obtain statistics on the size of Japanese Canadians in Canada.

· There are about 121,000 Japanese Canadians in Canada.
· Japanese Canadians take up 0.35 percent of the total Canadian population.

A respondent was asked to select a single or multiple origins of his/her ancestors. Here, an ancestor was used to mean someone more distant than a grandparent and meant his/her ethnic or cultural root but did not mean the citizenship, language or place of birth of his/her ancestors. The choice of ethnic origin reflected a respondent’s perception of his/her ethnic ancestry. Thus, a person’s ethnic origin was not absolute or permanent. It could change as his or her social environment changed. Therefore, an ethnic origin in the Census was not an anthropological definition. Rather, it was a cultural definition. In this report, we call Canadians with a single Japanese ethnic origin and a Japanese ethnic origin as of one of multiple ethnic origins Japanese Canadians.

by Takashi Ohki
St. Albert, Alberta, Canada

To read the full report by Takashi Ohki, click HERE

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