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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 6:22 PM
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What are the most undercounted ancestry groups in Canada?

Most undercounted is definitely French ancestry given the high percentage of sole "Canadian" responses in Quebec. According to the 2011 NHS only 15% of Canadians reported French origins.

Second is probably Irish, particularly in Newfoundland. It's pretty evident that Catholic is pretty much synonymous with Irish ancestry in St. John's and Newfoundland. St. John's for instance is about 45% Catholic and 32% reported Irish ancestry, Newfoundland is about 35% Catholic and 21% reported Irish ancestry.

English and Scottish would be next, but not to the same degree IMO.

Note that in every province except Quebec and Newfoundland, "Canadian"responses are split about 50/50 single and multiple origins but the people reporting "Canadian" write only Canadian only.
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 6:57 PM
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I don't know if it's number one, but the French group is certainly undercounted for reasons you mentioned.

It's likely that about 30% of Canada is of French ethnic origin, even if the % of francophones is only around 22-23%. The difference of course comes from the fact that many people of French origin outside Quebec are not francophones.

It's getting further complexified now with the growing number of francophones in Quebec who are not of French origin. In the Montreal area a few years ago it was estimated that 15% of the people who are native francophones have no French origins at all. The number is no doubt higher today.

That said, I bet that relative to population, the group that is most significantly undercounted in terms of percentage of the total (that they should be) is aboriginal. Given that so many communities boycott the census.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 8:10 PM
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Scots Irish? Like in the USA, the Scots Irish mostly identify as simply Canadian or American.
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 8:59 PM
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Of the 5.8 million single origin Canadians (i.e. people who can't claim any other ancestry), 3.1 million are in Quebec. So it seems reasonable to estimate there is a minimum of 3 million people of French ancestry not counted in addition to the 5 million officially counted (of which there are only 2.2 million in Quebec!)
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 10:26 PM
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I consider myself a Canadian but my ancestry is Prussian.
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Second is probably Irish, particularly in Newfoundland. It's pretty evident that Catholic is pretty much synonymous with Irish ancestry in St. John's and Newfoundland. St. John's for instance is about 45% Catholic and 32% reported Irish ancestry, Newfoundland is about 35% Catholic and 21% reported Irish ancestry.
In most parts of the island, all of the ethnic groups from the British Isles have basically merged into a single one - with each keeping something of its original character. But we do not see ourselves as an ethnicity, we see ourselves as mixed. So in the absence of a universally accepted ethnic term, people choose a nationality - "Canadian" is very popular; I, obviously, choose "Newfoundlander".

Lots of exceptions, of course. There are homogeneous parts of the island where people didn't mix and remain today strongly self-identified as Irish or English. And then there's religion, which basically stands in for ethnicity here. Even atheists might choose Catholic or Protestant in a census.
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 11:25 PM
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Newfoundland and Labrador, 2011 NHS:

English ancestry 219,925 43.3%
Canadian ancestry only 173,865 34.3%
Irish ancestry 110,370 21.8%

Protestant 290,870 57.3%
Catholic 181,550 35.8%

From these stats it seems reasonable to assume about 55-60% of Newfoundlanders probably have at least some English ancestry and 35% have Irish ancestry (obviously with some overlap).
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedog View Post
I consider myself a Canadian but my ancestry is Prussian.
I am a bit of a mongrel with a little bit of uncertainty, but my mother's family was Prussian with a bit of Slavic influence, and my father was a mix of English and Irish. When you are of mixed ancestry or have been in Canada for a number of generations, your natural choice will be 'Canadian'
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  #9  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 12:50 AM
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The census question is about ancestry, not nationality.
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 1:01 AM
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"Canadian only" responses are not surprisingly more common in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, where a majority of the population can trace their roots to before Confederation.

Newfoundland 173,865 34.4%
PEI 25,860 18.8%
Nova Scotia 186,930 20.6%
New Brunswick 202,775 27.6%
Quebec 3,154,145 40.8%
Ontario 1,257,340 9.9%
Manitoba 83,445 7.1%
Saskatchewan 85,945 8.5%
Alberta 343,485 9.6%
British Columbia 314,645 7.3%
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 1:07 AM
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The logical side of me thinks these competing answers should be off-limits in the census.

For example, imagine a Newfoundland town that's 100% descended from the Irish, where everyone is Catholic and they even all still speak with an Irish accent. You poll them and a third says "Irish", a third says "Canadian" and a third says "Newfoundlander". The resulting data is worthless and doesn't tell you what you want to know.
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Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 1:11 AM
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So you want a first-past-the-post system of ancestry choosing?
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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 2:46 AM
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My situation is such that I've never had to question my ethnicity (Scottish, right down the line on both sides after up to 7 generations in Canada), but I wonder what my response would be if my Canadian-born father had been of Scottish/German ancestry and my Canadian-born mother had been of English, Irish and Finnish stock? I think I would be inclined to answer "Canadian", because nothing else makes much sense, unless "mixed European" could be considered an ethnicity.
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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 3:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docere View Post
"Canadian only" responses are not surprisingly more common in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, where a majority of the population can trace their roots to before Confederation.

Newfoundland 173,865 34.4%
PEI 25,860 18.8%
Nova Scotia 186,930 20.6%
New Brunswick 202,775 27.6%
Quebec 3,154,145 40.8%
Ontario 1,257,340 9.9%
Manitoba 83,445 7.1%
Saskatchewan 85,945 8.5%
Alberta 343,485 9.6%
British Columbia 314,645 7.3%
It seems to be because people are more likely to identify as the "Canadian" ethnicity when their families have been here for many generations (at least 200 years). In Western Canada many people are born elsewhere or only one or two generations away from being European (or other background).
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 3:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Newfoundland and Labrador, 2011 NHS:

English ancestry 219,925 43.3%
Canadian ancestry only 173,865 34.3%
Irish ancestry 110,370 21.8%

Protestant 290,870 57.3%
Catholic 181,550 35.8%

From these stats it seems reasonable to assume about 55-60% of Newfoundlanders probably have at least some English ancestry and 35% have Irish ancestry (obviously with some overlap).
A high number of Catholics would have ancestry other than Irish, primarily because of the conversion factor. People marrying Catholics were forced to convert to Catholicism, but not the other way around.
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Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 3:20 AM
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I'm 12.5% French. Should I put that or not? How much should we split these hairs?

Actually 12.5% Quebecois so probably less than 12.5% actual French since most of them were at least somewhat mixed by the late 1800s.

If you do an Ancestry DNA test and get 0.53% black, which ethnicity do you put?
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 3:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
I'm 12.5% French. Should I put that or not? How much should we split these hairs?

Actually 12.5% Quebecois so probably less than 12.5% actual French since most of them were at least somewhat mixed by the late 1800s.

If you do an Ancestry DNA test and get 0.53% black, which ethnicity do you put?
Based on the TV commercials, I think that means you're supposed to buy a colourful Nigerian headwrap.
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 3:35 AM
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Ancestry is one of those weird things that I really don't hold much regard to, past one generation.

My grandfather was from Denmark. He spoke the language, had family in that country and visited often. He was Danish.

I don't speak Danish. I don't cheer for the Danish national football team, know much about Denmark's history, or really particularly care about events there. It's a lovely country, but I most certainly feel like a foreigner when I visited there. I'm Canadian. It's what I put on the census.
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  #19  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 3:47 AM
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Originally Posted by kwoldtimer View Post
My situation is such that I've never had to question my ethnicity (Scottish, right down the line on both sides after up to 7 generations in Canada), but I wonder what my response would be if my Canadian-born father had been of Scottish/German ancestry and my Canadian-born mother had been of English, Irish and Finnish stock? I think I would be inclined to answer "Canadian", because nothing else makes much sense, unless "mixed European" could be considered an ethnicity.
The problem with Canadian as an available answer is that people like you, who totally unambiguously should select "Scottish", could very well instead select "Canadian" even if they're well-meaning, defeating the point of wasting resources on doing an ethnicity survey in the first place.

"I don't know"

"I don't care"

"I'm of mixed ancestry and I know the proportions" (in which case you'll count as these proportions in the census)

"I'm just too mixed for this survey to make sense"

should all be available answers. They don't overlap, unlike "Irish" and "Newfoundlander" and "Canadian", or "French" and "Canadien" and "Québécois".
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 3:52 AM
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Originally Posted by wave46 View Post
Ancestry is one of those weird things that I really don't hold much regard to, past one generation.

My grandfather was from Denmark. He spoke the language, had family in that country and visited often. He was Danish.

I don't speak Danish. I don't cheer for the Danish national football team, know much about Denmark's history, or really particularly care about events there. It's a lovely country, but I most certainly feel like a foreigner when I visited there. I'm Canadian. It's what I put on the census.
If everyone did like you, the ethnicity part of census that we're paying StatCan to compile would end up delivering nothing but the same information as the population census: "there are 36.29 million people who answered they were Canadian".

The truth is, you should have been counted as a 0.25/36286425 contribution of Danish ancestry to Canada. That is the point. If you don't want to disclose that, I guess it's your prerogative but then you don't even need to waste any time filling up the ancestry section; by skipping it you'll spare some federal white collar time as well.
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