Statistics Canada takes second look at ethnicity question on census

The national statistics agency is now testing a new way to ask people about their ethnic origins

Statistics Canada officials estimate the number of people identifying as Jewish in the 2016 census could have been double what it was if not for a small change on the questionnaire.

The number of people identifying themselves as ethnically Jewish on the census has been on a decline since 2001, but the drop between 2011 and 2016 far outpaced the declines between previous census cycles.

A newly released review by Statistics Canada says the census could have identified between 270,000 and 298,000 Jews in Canada in 2016 if response patterns remained steady, instead of the almost 144,000 captured in the population count.

The review says the decline is most likely linked to the removal of Jewish from a list of examples that goes along with the question about ethnic and cultural origins.

READ MORE: More and more, ‘average Canadian’ is anything but: latest census

But the reviewers also note that dropping the examples entirely could cause additional problems, such as respondents not understanding the question or affecting the results in different ways.

The national statistics agency is now testing a new way to ask people about their ethnic origins, trying to wrangle a complex issue into a simple-to-understand question in time for the 2021 population counts.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ucluelet and Tofino mayors call for “calmness” and “empathy” as highway closure cuts communities off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

UPDATED: Tofino-Ucluelet highway will be open for “essential travel only” on Friday

Vehicles will be screened at the Tofino/Ucluelet junction and at Sproat Lake.

Tofino shakes up emergency notification service

“You can download maps and it has more functionality.”

Dylan Green set to launch B.C.’s first ride-hailing app in Tofino

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Was Bigfoot just spotted on a Washington State webcam?

Sherman Pass is rougly 70 kilometres south of Grand Forks, B.C.

Most Read