STATISTICS AND DEMOGRAPHICS OF HISPANIC-LATIN AMERICANS IN CANADA
Measuring the Latin American population in Canada
Given that language, Spanish, is the common denominator that brings together a community comprised of people with origins in more than 20 different countries, each with their own cultures and traditions as well as diverse races and ethnicities, socio-economic and political backgrounds, and the fact that there is no homogenous identifier within the questions posed in Canada’s Census questionnaires it has been difficult for Statistics Canada to report what the Canadian Hispanic Congress and the Hispanic-Latin American community in Canada need to know: the true numbers and data about this community. This becomes more pressing and important because the belief has been that the numbers reported by Statistics Canada do not reflect the demographic reality of this growing and vibrant community,
To this effect since the mid-1980’s the Canadian Hispanic Congress (CHC) has been trying to have Statistics Canada find a way to better identify the data that pertains to this community.
Finally, when Statistics Canada reported the figures of Census 2001 the Canadian Hispanic Congress requested a re-tabulation of the data using as criteria the CHC’s definition of Hispanic: One whose origin or that of his or her ancestors is from any of the countries whose one of its official languages is Spanish”. By doing so, the results of the re-tabulated Census 2001 and subsequently 2006, 2011, and 2016 have shown that there are approximately 50% more Hispanic-Latin Americans in Canada than those reported in the official Census figures.
Although this is an extremely important finding it is not completely satisfying given that this information is provided only to the CHC and not posted on Statistics Canada’s official sites. Therefore, most of those who seek information on our community erroneously believe that we are less than half the number we truly are, and this seriously and negatively impact the Canadian Hispanic-Latin American community as it affects how all levels of governments, agencies, corporations, the media, academics, etc. view this community: as a minority within minorities and not as the majority within the minorities it is.
Thus, the importance of the CHC and the CHLAVM as repositories of this information and the place where it can be found and shared with everyone interested in knowing the true demographic reality of the Canadian Hispanic-Latin American community in Canada.
We invite you to review the re-tabulated data provided by Statistics Canada to the Canadian Hispanic Congress.