Mixed-race couples changing Canada
Photo:Mixed-race couple Stephan and Florence Gerth show of their twin boys Ryan and Leo in a Berlin hospital. The twins, who have radically differing skin tones, were born by Caesarean section.
Census finds more mixed-race couples, says they’re younger and an urban phenomenon
Tue Apr 20, 9:25 AM
By The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – A new study says the number of mixed-race couples has risen considerably in Canada.
Numbers gleaned from the last census indicate there were 289,400 mixed unions in 2006, 33.1 per cent more than in 2001. “As Canada’s population becomes increasingly diverse, there are more opportunities for people to marry or form relationships with someone from a different ethno-cultural background,” Statistics Canada said in a release Tuesday.
“Mixed unions, including both married and common-law couples, reflect one aspect of the diversity of families. They vary according to characteristics such as generational status of the spouses or partners, their birthplace and their particular visible-minority group.”
About 247,600 of the mixed-race couples were comprised of one member of a visible-minority group and someone who was not a visible minority, the agency said – 3.3 per cent of all couples.
The remaining 41,800 mixed unions consisted of couples in belonging to different visible minorities – accounting for 0.6 per cent of all couples.
It says the proportion of mixed unions rose with the length of time spent in Canada, that they tended to be made up of younger couples, and that they’re an urban phenomenon.
“Among first-generation visible minority Canadians (those born outside of Canada), 12 per cent were in mixed-union couples,” said the agency.
“For second-generation Canadians who were members of a visible minority group the proportion in a mixed union was 51 per cent. It reached 69 per cent for third-generation visible-minority Canadians.”
There was also variation across specific visible-minority groups, it said.
Overall, Japanese had the highest proportion marrying or forming partnerships outside of their visible-minority group.
About 75 per cent of the 29,700 couples in which at least one person was Japanese involved a pairing with a non-Japanese person. They were followed by Latin Americans and blacks.
Compared with other couples, a slightly higher proportion of mixed unions included children living at home.
In addition, about 10 per cent of mixed-union couples had at least one child under age two and none older than five years of age in the home, compared with 5.6 per cent of other couples.
“This reflects the fact that people in mixed unions were younger and, therefore, more likely to be at their life-cycle stage of having young children at home,” said the study.
It also said mixed unions are an urban phenomenon.
In 2006, 5.1 per cent of all city-dwelling couples were in mixed unions, compared with 1.4 per cent of couples living outside cities.
In Vancouver, 8.5 per cent of couples were in mixed unions, the highest proportion among Canadian cities.