Spatial residential patterns of selected ethnic groups: significance and policy implications.

Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal Spring , 2003


This paper analyses the spatial residential patterns of recent immigrant groups to Canada and compares them with other selected European groups to understand the differences, their causes and consequences. Using census data from the 2001 Canadian Census for the metropolitan areas and census tracts, various measures of concentration and segregation are examined. Preliminary analysis of the data show that substantial differences exist among the ethnic groups in their residential patterns. The differences seem to be along not only social class lines but also along social distance and ethnic cohesion dimensions. There does not seem to be much change in the last decade. The paper further explores whether the extent of residential segregation decreases in later generations.

The persistence of ethnic enclaves over time has important policy implicatior On the positive side, they are important in preserving aspects of the ethnic culture such as language, customs, religious beliefs, lifestyle, etc. They emphasize the cultural diversity of Canada. On the negative side, they may promote discrimination and prejudice and the development of ghettoes.

Ce document de recherche analyse les habitudes en matiere de residence, sur le plan spatial, des groupes ayant immigres recemment au Canada en les comparant a celles de certains groupes d'Europeens en vue de comprendre les differences, ainsi que leurs causes et leurs consequences. Les donnees du recensement de 2001 sur les regions metropolitaines et les secteurs de recensement sont mises a profit, et diverses mesures de concentration et de segregation sont examinees. L'analyse preliminaire des donnees indique qu'il existe des differences notables entre les groupes ethniques pour ce qui est de leurs habitudes en matiere de residence. Les differences semblent correspondre non seulement aux classes sociales, mais egalement a la distance sociale et a la cohesion ethnique. Il ne semble pas y avoir eu beaucoup de differences au cours de la derniere decennie. L'etude cherche a demontrer si la segregation residentielle diminue avec les generations de residence au Canada.

La persistance d'enclaves ethniques au fil du temps a des incidences importantes sur les politiques. D' une part, elles sont importantes pour la preservation de la culture ethnique, par exemple la langue, les coutames, les croyances religieuses, les habitudes de vie, etc. Elles mettent en relief la diversite culturelle du Canada. D'autre part, elles peuvent favoriser la discrimination et les prejuges ainsi que la formation de ghettos.


One of the striking features of contemporary Canadian population is its remarkable ethnic diversity. There are more than 200 ethnic groups identified in the census who have their origins in the migration of peoples from all over the world to Canada. The removal of discriminatory clauses in the immigration laws in the early 1960s, combined with the changing push factors in the countries of origin and the selection criteria used, resulted in an ethnic composition of Canada that is very different from what it was before the Second World War. While western Europeans predominated before 1960, in the 1960s and 1970s most immigrants were primarily from Southern and Eastern Europe. Since then however, the majority of immigrants are from Third World countries. More than half of the immigrants since 1980 were the so-called "Visible Minorities": Blacks, South Asians, Chinese, Latinos, and Central Americans. For example, of the 1.8 million immigrants who arrived between 1991 and 2001,58% came from Asia (including the Middle East), 20% from Europe; 11.5% from the Caribbean, Central and South America; 8% from Africa; and 3% from the United States (Statistics Canada 2003).

The importance of immigrants and their composition on the Canadian population is further accentuated by the fact that their numbers now account for greater population growth than natural increase. Canadian fertility rates have been below replacement level for two decades, which affects not only entrants to the labour force but the proportion of the elderly in the total population. The proportion of foreign born in 2001 is 18.4%, the highest in 70 years. Only Australia, with a foreign-born population of 22%, is ahead of Canada in the industrialized world. Because the immigrants are usually in the more productive, younger age groups, their positive impact on fertility, labour force participation, and ageing is significant.

The increased number of immigrants and their diversity poses challenging problems for the host society. Among the recent immigrants (1991-2001), 73.4% are Visible Minorities with very different cultural backgrounds. There was very little migration of Visible Minorities before 1961, much of the increase happening after 1971 (Table 1). About half of the Visible Minority population in Canada came between 1981-2001, and if we include the children born to these immigrants in Canada, their impact is even higher. An interesting observation in the table is that the number of immigrants during 1991-2001 was more than double those in 1981-1991. The only exception is Blacks, whose rate of immigration seems to have lessened compared to that of the Asian populations. Given present immigration policies, there is reason to believe these trends will continue for some time. This rapid growth of ethnic and racial minorities through migration may increase their concentration and their segregation from the major groups who have been settled in Canada for some time. Lack of official language facility and social networks, occupational skills, and economic resources may limit the immigrants' settlement to ethnic enclaves, which are often found in the poorer sections of the city. Discrimination against certain immigrant groups in housing and labour markets may also force them into specific areas of the city, and thus increase their spatial concentration and segregation from specific groups, such as the British or other European-origin groups in Canada (Olson and Kobayashi 1993). When the immigrant population has different customs and lifestyles owing to different ethnic origins, and when that population then increases substantially within a short time, it may also prove difficult for the host society to accept those differences (Reitz 1988).

What is the best way to integrate minority groups into Canadian society and protect their rights and privileges? Integration can be perceived at various levels: spatial; economic; political; cultural; etc. Spatial integration would mean that the geographic distribution of various ethnic groups is similar to one another, or, in other words, they are distributed as evenly as the total population across the country. Similarly, economic integration would mean that when education, training, etc., are properly controlled for, the income and occupation of the ethnic groups are similar to each other. Canada's multiculturalism policies are meant to achieve integration of various minorities while enabling them to preserve their heritage. This paper investigates only one aspect of integration, namely the spatial aspect.


An examination of the geographical distribution of ethnic groups in Canada shows a wide diversity by regions, provinces, cities, and areas within cities. Many of these differences have historical roots in past immigration and settlement patterns. People of British Isles and French heritage predominate in the four Atlantic provinces. The French dominate in Quebec. Ontario is the most diverse of all with all European groups and Asians and Blacks represented. Germans, Ukrainians, Poles, and the Dutch are over-represented in the Prairies, while English is most often reported in British Columbia (along with Chinese and East Indian). Internal migration due to various causes has reduced some of these regional ethnic differences over time. Recent immigrants who are largely visible minorities have their own distinct pattern of settlement. They are overwhelmingly attracted to the large metropolitan areas. In 2001, 94% of immigrants who arrived during the 1990s were living in Canada's Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), compared with 64% of the total population who lived in these areas. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the immigrants who came in the 1990s lived in Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver (Statistics Canada 2003). This trend is not surprising. Employment opportunities and the presence of large numbers of the same ethnic group predict such a pattern. New immigrants choose to live near their previously established immigrant friends and relatives, a process referred to as "chain" immigration.

Two caveats should be underscored in the interpretation of the data on ethnic origin presented here and throughout the rest of the paper. The first is the case of multiple reporting on ethnic ancestries. Mostly due to intermarriage, multiple reporting has become common, especially among the early immigrants to Canada, such as the British, German, and western European groups, but is less prevalent among recent immigrants. In 2001, 38% of the population reported more than one ethnic ancestry, an increase from 36% in 1996. Owing to double counting, the numbers will add to more than the total, a caution to be kept in mind when interpreting the data.

The second caveat has to do with the reporting of "Canadian." Changes to the ethnic origin question in the 1996 and 2001 censuses resulted in an increase in the number of people reporting Canadian or Canadien as part of their ethnic heritage in both 1996 and 2001. In the 2001 Census, 39% of the total population reported Canadian as their ethnic origin, either alone or in combination with other origins, up from 31% in 1996 (Statistics Canada 2003). Of these, 23% reported Canadian as their only ethnic origin while the rest, 16%, reported Canadian along with other origins. Most individuals who reported Canadian in 2001 had English or French as a mother tongue, were born in Canada, and had both parents born in Canada (Statistics Canada 2003).

Both the incidence of multiple reporting and reporting Canadian occur much less often among recent immigrants, who are largely visible minorities. Most give only single responses, hence the analyses and their interpretation, which is of greater interest, for these groups is less ambiguous compared to the early European groups.

The ethnic composition of the populations in the three largest metropolitan areas of Canada in 1996 and 2001 show that the members of the charter British and French groups have decreased in all of them (Table 2). In Montreal, persons who gave a British origin declined from 10.96% in 1996 to 9.34% in 2001. Similarly those who gave a French origin response decreased from 34.77% to 20.55%. It should be emphasised that these figures are deceptive, especially for the French, because of the Canadian response. In Quebec the number giving a Canadian response was very high. Many of French origin gave Canadian origin either singly or in combination with French. Therefore the decrease in French response is compensated for by a corresponding increase in the Canadian response. In Toronto, those of British origins decreased from 31.86% in 1996 to 27.40% in 2001, and in Vancouver, from 41.16% to 36.83%. Though there were less French origin persons in these two cities, they also showed a modest decrease.

Western and Eastern Europeans who came to Canada earlier also show declines in their proportions in all three metropolitan areas. Italians and Portuguese (more recent immigrants coming mainly in the 1960s and 1970s) also show slight declines. Small declines can also be noticed in the Jewish case.

In contrast, the Visible Minority groups increased substantially during the last five years under review here. In Canada as a whole, the proportion of the Visible Minority population increased from 11.2% to 13.4% (Statistics Canada 2003). While the proportions in Montreal were similar to the national figures, the attraction of Toronto and Vancouver was overwhelming.

In Toronto the proportion of Visible Minorities, which was already high at 31.61% in 1996, increased substantially to 38.67%, and in Vancouver from 31.13% to 38.71%. About two-thirds of the minority population is made up of South Asians, Chinese, and Blacks, and all substantially increased their proportions in the three largest metropolitan areas, more so in Toronto and Vancouver than in Montreal. Persons of South Asian origin now form one-tenth of Toronto's population, the proportion increasing from 8.43% in 1996 to 10.84% in 2001. In Vancouver, the percentage of South Asians increased from 6.84% in 1996 to 8.3% in 2001. The increase in the proportion of Chinese was similar to that of the South Asians in Toronto. Vancouver's largest minority group increased proportionally from 15.77% to 17.63% in 2001. One person in six in Vancouver is presently of Chinese descent.


Just as ethnic populations are unevenly distributed across the regions, provinces, and metropolitan areas, they are also non-randomly distributed within cities. Spatial residential patterns of ethnic and racial groups have been a long-standing area of interest for social scientists, urban planners, and political policy makers, which explains the interest in Chinatowns, Little Italys, and Portuguese, Greek, and Black neighbourhoods. In American cities, Blacks and Hispanics are often found to be highly segregated, a cause for concern for policy makers. One of the reasons for the interest in residential segregation is that it is often seen as a measure of how well or how poorly a group has integrated into the society at large. The assumption is that a group isolated in a particular area is probably not participating in the housing and labour markets to the fullest extent. It is further argued that living in close proximity to others of the same ethnic or racial background, while increasing interaction within groups, reduces interaction outside the group. Thus while residential segregation maintains ethnic identity, it reduces integration into the wider society, economically, socially, and politically.

Three hypotheses have been advanced and tested to explain the trends and changes in residential segregation. The first can be called the "social class hypothesis." According to this hypothesis, ethnic segregation is largely a reflection of social-class differences among the ethnic groups. Ethnic groups in Canada migrated at different points in time and vary considerably in terms of their socio-economic background, language proficiency, and educational and occupational skills. Lack of economic and social capital forces recent immigrant groups to live in the poorer areas of the city, often in the city core. As their conditions improve, they are able to disperse to more desirable neighbourhoods. With increased integration in the country's occupational and industrial structure, ethnic residential segregation should decrease. This basically human ecological perspective, which goes back to studies of Chicago (Burgess 1925; Park 1926), stresses the economic dimension and puts less emphasis, if any, on cultural and psychological factors in settlement patterns (Clark 1986). While many studies have shown the importance of social class in residential segregation patterns, others have conclusively proven that much residential segregation remains even after one controls for social class, and alternative explanations must be explored (Darroch and Marston 1971 ; Balakrishnan 1982; Balakrishnan and Kralt 1987; Balakrishnan and Hou 1999a; Fairbarn and Khatun 1989; Ray 1994; Dunn 1998; Massey and Denton 1988). The continued high segregation of Blacks, Native peoples, Chinese, and South Asians in both Canada and the United States, in spite of their socio-economic advancement over the decades, supports this theory.

The second hypothesis states that ethnic residential segregation is due to social distance among ethnic groups. Social distance can be measured by such factors as acceptance of a particular ethnic group as work colleagues, neighbours, close friends, or spouses. Greater social distance should be reflected in higher levels of residential segregation. Prejudice and discrimination, strong indices of social distance, can be expected to correlate to residential segregation. Not surprisingly, many studies have found a parallel between social distance and residential segregation (Balakrishnan 1982; Balakrishnan and Hou 1999a: Kalbach 1990; Bauder and Sharpe 2002; Lieberson 1970; Lieberson and Waters 1988; Massey and Denton 1987).

A third hypothesis explaining ethnic residential segregation may be called the "ethnic identity" hypothesis. This is fundamentally different from the two earlier hypotheses that are based on the premise that residential segregation is due to involuntary causes (one's social class and social status determines residential choices) and hence are intrinsically bad. In contrast, the ethnic-identity hypothesis postulates that persons of the same ethnic ancestry choose to live in proximity so that social interaction can be maximized and group norms and values maintained (Driedger and Church 1974; Balakrishnan and Selvanathan 1990). Size and concentration provide distinct advantages. Many institutions such as ethnic clubs, churches, heritage language newspapers, stores specializing in ethnic food, clothing etc, require threshold populations concentrated in space. Thus ethnic residential segregation has certain merits, whether or not it is perceived as such by the ethnic group. According to this hypothesis, the greater the self-identity of an ethnic group, the more likely they will be residentially segregated. The level of self-identity among the ethnic groups may vary for several reasons. Apart from historical and political causes, it could be due to the strength of commonly held beliefs and values, kinship networks, and feelings of solidarity.

With the type of macro-level census data we are examining, it is hardly possible to test these hypotheses rigourously. The data does, however, provide a theoretical framework for interpretation. While one cannot separate the effects of social class, social distance, or self-identity on residential segregation levels, it is possible to observe the relationship between residential segregation and these underlying factors.

Our analysis will be restricted largely to the three largest metropolitan areas of Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. They attract most of the immigrants and are very ethnically diverse metropolitan areas. The data used here are from the Canadian censuses at the census tract (CT) level. We will largely deal with the responses to the ethnic origin questions, classified in ten broad categories. One should always be aware of the differential impact of multiple origin responses in these categories. One simple way of assessing the extent of spatial concentration is by seeing whether a particular ethnic group is over- or under-represented in an area. As the CTs are supposed to be fairly comparable in overall population size, an idea of concentration can be obtained by comparing the cumulative proportion of CTs with the cumulative proportion of the ethnic population in those tracts. Census tracts in the three CMAs were arranged in decreasing order of ethnic population in 2001, and the cumulative proportions calculated. Table 3 shows the extent of concentration by examining the proportion of tracts in which 50% and 90% of an ethnic-group population is found.

There is a low concentration of persons of British and French origins in all three cities. Though the British are a minority in Montreal, they do not show a high level of concentration. About a fifth of the tracts have to be covered to account for half of the British origin population, and more than two-thirds to account for 90% of the population. Although the French are a much smaller group in Toronto and Vancouver, they show very little concentration. In fact, they are as dispersed as they are in Montreal. Earlier studies on previous census data have also shown that there is little French concentration in the CMAs outside of Quebec (Balakrishnan 2000). Concentration is also low for the Western, Central, and Eastern European groups, though slightly more than for the British. Italians are somewhat more concentrated than the other European groups, probably a function of their more recent migration to Canada. Half the Italians in Montreal live in 12.3% of the CTs, and in Toronto, in 13.6% of the tracts.

The most residentially concentrated minority group in Canada are the Jews. In 2001, half the Jewish population in Montreal lived in 2.4% of the CTs, and 90% in 13.6% of the tracts. Their concentrations show little change over the years. In 1991, the corresponding figures were 2.0% and 9.0% respectively (Balakrishnan and Hou 1999a). They are also highly concentrated in Toronto, the corresponding figures being 3.8% and 26.2% respectively. They are somewhat more dispersed in Vancouver, with half the Jews living in 14.3% of the CTs. It is interesting to note that the two CMAs where two-thirds of all Jews in Canada live, Montreal and Toronto, are also where they are most concentrated (they are less concentrated in other CMAs: figures not shown here). It seems size has a positive effect on concentration for the Jews, even though they are not recent immigrants, nor are they in the lower socioeconomic classes. Their concentration is probably more a function of a strong cultural bond.

After the Jewish population, Visible Minorities are the most concentrated groups in the three cities. In Montreal, half the South Asians lived in 4.6% of the CTs, and 90% in 27.2% of the CTs. They show little change from the situation ten years ago in 1991, when the corresponding figures were 5.1% and 21.3% respectively. Among the Visible Minorities, they were the most concentrated. They are less concentrated in Toronto and Vancouver, where most of them live. Half the South Asians live in 13.7% of the CTs in Toronto and 10.4% in Vancouver. Chinese show somewhat lower concentration than do South Asians in Montreal, but in Toronto and Vancouver, their concentration is about the same. Half the Chinese live in about a tenth of the CTs in all three CMAs. The Black population, whether of African or Caribbean origin, show significantly lower concentration than the other two major Visible Minorities of Chinese or South Asians, a striking difference from the U.S. residential patterns (Massey and Denton 1987). This is surprising given their lower socio-economic position compared to the Asian population and their not too different position in the social distance scale. One may surmise that the greater cultural diversity among the Black population may have something to do with this pattern.

A summary measure, the "Gini Index," was constructed to investigate the extent of spatial concentration of a minority group in a city. It is derived from concentration curves, also known as "Lorenz" curves. The vertical axis shows the cumulative percentage of the population in a particular ethnic group, and the horizontal axis shows the CTs arranged in decreasing order of the ethnic population. A curve that coincides with the diagonal line indicates that the ethnic population is distributed equally among the CTs, implying no spatial concentration. The farther the curve is from the diagonal, the greater the concentration. The Gini Index is the ratio of the area between the curve and the diagonal to the area of the triangle above the diagonal. Thus the range is from 0 to 1, where 0 indicates no concentration and 1 indicates complete concentration.

The Gini Indices for the three CMAs for 1986-2001 are shown in Table 4. The figures for 2001 are not strictly comparable to the earlier years; 2001 figures are calculated using total responses (single as well as multiple) while the earlier figures are calculated based only on single responses. Some categories for 2001 are grouped and hence cannot be constructed for earlier years. Subject to these limitations, we can make some interesting observations. The Gini Indices of concentration are uniformly high in Montreal for the various ethnic groups. Earlier studies have all shown high concentrations in comparison to the rest of the metropolitan areas in Canada (Balakrishnan 1982; Balakrishnan and Hou 1999a). Obviously the ability to speak French plays a large part in the choice of residential location in Montreal. Language facility among the ethnic groups varies a great deal depending on the place of origin, date of immigration, etc. As mentioned earlier, the European groups are less concentrated. There seems to be a decline in the concentration of Italians over the time period 1986-2001 in all three CMAs. Gini Indices are very high for the Jewish population and continue to be so, except in Vancouver where they are lower and seemed to decline in recent years. South Asians and Chinese have high concentration indices throughout the 1986-2001 period. High immigration during the recent decade does not seem to have increased the concentration indices.

The case of Blacks is interesting given their very different patterns from the U.S. In America, Blacks are highly concentrated. The indices for the Blacks are almost twice that for the Asians, whereas in Canada, they are less concentrated than the Asian groups. Unlike Blacks in the U.S., Blacks in Canada are more recent immigrants with a wide diversity in terms of places of origin, historical past, and cultural background. There is a mix of African Blacks, French-speaking Haitians, and English-speaking Caribbeans, as well as a sizable number of native-born Blacks. This lack of homogeneity may explain their greater dispersion in Canadian cities.

In summary, concentration on the whole is highest in Montreal and lowest in Vancouver, with Toronto in the middle. While the generally high indices in Montreal can be attributed to the distinctness of French culture and language to the immigrant groups, it is problematic to explain why Vancouver has lower indices than Toronto. Our earlier studies have also noticed this difference between Toronto and Vancouver (Balakrishnan 1982; Balakrishnan and Hou 1999a). Our explanation then was that the Western CMAs such as Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver attracted a large number of immigrants simultaneously rather than in sequence as in Toronto, and hence did not have time to develop distinct ethnic enclaves. Whether there is also a greater tolerance and acceptance of ethnic diversity in the West and whether this has resulted in lower residential segregation is open to empirical investigation. Among the ethnic groups, concentrations are lower for European groups and higher for Visible Minorities. Concentrations over the time period 1986-2001 have remained stable or declined for most of the ethnic groups.


In the previous section, we calculated Gini Indices, which measured the spatial concentration of a minority group. The indices would be high if the minority group lived in a small portion of the total area of a city. In contrast, when the group is distributed widely in a city, the indices would be low. Segregation, on the other hand, measures the degree to which two or more groups live apart from one another. Thus the two are different conceptually and methodologically. However, they are often found to be highly correlated. When a minority group is concentrated in space, it is also more likely to be segregated from other groups. In this section, we will focus on the extent of segregation between ethnic groups, measured by the "Index of Dissimilarity" (ID). The Index of Dissimilarity compares the distribution of two different populations over the same set of spatial units (CTs in our case) in a metropolitan area. It is the sum of either the positive or negative differences between the proportional distributions of two populations. The index has a range from 0 (no segregation) to 1 (complete segregation). An associated index is the "Index of Segregation" (IS), which compares the distribution of a given population with all other populations minus itself.

The ISs for selected ethnic groups in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver are presented in Table 5. They are based on total responses, in other words, singly or in combination with another ethnic ancestry response. Due to changes in the categories used, some comparisons between 1996 and 2001 were not possible. As observed earlier, segregation indices in general seem to be highest in Montreal and lowest in Vancouver. In Montreal, it is not surprising that the French are the least segregated. Their substantial majority in the city and dispersion across the city would explain this phenomenon. The British and Western Europeans show relatively low segregation. The British seem to actually show a decline. Central and Eastern European groups and Italians show moderate segregation (around .4). Jewish segregation has always been high in Montreal and continues to be so. The index of .777 in 2001 for the Jews is high and reaches the level found for Blacks in many U.S. cities. The Visible Minorities also exhibit high segregation, but show considerable differences among themselves. The IS for South Asians is .636 compared to .520 for Chinese. Blacks show lower segregation than Asian groups; .426 for African origins and .464 for Caribbean origins. The pattern of lower levels of segregation for Blacks compared to Asians is a clear departure from the U.S. patterns, where Black segregation is almost double that of the Asian groups (Massey and Denton 1987: Massey and Denton 1993).

Segregation indices are somewhat lower in Toronto than in Montreal, but show the same pattern. Certain observations can still be made. The French, though a minority in Toronto, show low segregation, the index being only .272, even lower than the British at .364. As a matter of fact, it is remarkable how well the French are spatially integrated outside of Quebec. The other European groups also have low levels of segregation, except Italians, who have a moderate index of .402. Jews continue to be the most highly segregated group in Toronto with a IS of .696, almost the same as in 1996. Visible Minorities are more segregated than European ethnic groups. Unlike in Montreal, South Asians in Toronto are less segregated than the Chinese, and Blacks are noticeably less segregated than either the Chinese or South Asians.

Vancouver is the least segregated of the three gateway cities in Canada. Earlier studies have consistently found this to be so, and the latest figures confirm this. The Charter groups of British and French and the European groups all show a level of only around .2. Even the Jewish population is less segregated with an index of .427, much less than in Montreal or Toronto. South Asians and Chinese who form the two largest Visible Minority groups in Vancouver show fairly high segregation with indices around .5. The reasons for this are to be found in the historical development of these groups in the city and their social cohesion. Blacks, who form a small minority in Vancouver, are fairly dispersed over the city as shown by the indices which are around .3.


We hypothesized that one of the many factors that cause segregation among the ethnic groups is social distance (Balakrishnan and Selvanathan 1990; Driedger and Church 1974; Guest and Weed 1976; Kantrowitz 1973). While economic resources influence residential location, social distance is also important in explaining ethnic segregation in Canadian cities. For example, a survey done in Toronto in 1978-1979 showed that British Canadians expressed a preference not to live next door to persons of other specific ethnic groups, the proportion varying according to the prestige of these groups (Reitz 1988). It may well be that some of these attitudes will be reflected in their behaviour when it comes to residential choice. Ethnic groups that are culturally similar to each other are less likely to be segregated among themselves compared to other ethnic groups. A few Canadian studies have measured social distance between the ethnic groups in Canada and found them to be similar to the patterns found in the U.S. (Driedger and Peters 1977; Pineo 1977). In Pineo's study of a measure of "social standing," the Visible Minorities formed the bottom of the scale. Though we do not have a well-tested social distance scale of recent construction, based on earlier studies done by others, we venture to classify our ethnic groups in order of increasing distance from the British as follows: British; Northern and Western Europe (French, German, Dutch, Scandinavian, etc.); Central and Eastern Europe (Polish, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Czech, etc.); Southern Europe (Italian, Portuguese, etc.); and Visible Minorities (South Asians, Chinese, Blacks, etc.). Though Jews show high segregation, we are not able to place them in the social distance scale. They probably are close to the Central or Eastern European category. Earlier studies done in Canada specifically examining the relationship between ethnic segregation and social distance have shown that residential segregation increased with social distance in Canadian metropolitan areas (Balakrishnan 1982; Balakrishnan and Kralt 1987; Kalbach 1990). Asian groups who had the highest social distance from the Western European groups were the most segregated. The relationship between social distance and segregation holds even when social class is controlled (Balakrishnan and Kralt 1987; Balakrishnan and Selvanathan 1990).

The relationship between social distance and residential segregation is examined here with the 2001 data for the three largest metropolitan cities of Canada. Indices of dissimilarity between the ethnic groups are presented in Table 6. There seems to be support for the social distance hypothesis. The ISs between the British and the French and other Western European groups are generally low, below .2. Even in Montreal, where the British are a clear minority, the index between British and French is only .3, and in Toronto and Vancouver they are. 118 and .113 respectively. The indices from the other Western European groups are also low: .180 in Montreal; .099 in Toronto; and .087 in Vancouver. They are somewhat higher between the British and Central and Eastern European groups, the index being .395 in Montreal and .349 in Toronto. Vancouver has consistently lower ISs for all ethnic groups. The index between British and Central and Eastern European groups was only .140. Italians show somewhat higher segregation from the British, the indices being .479 in Montreal, .466 in Toronto, and again lower in Vancouver at .265. The Visible Minorities show much higher segregation from the British in all three cities. Among them, South Asians and Chinese exhibit greater segregation from the British than the Blacks, a finding of considerable significance when compared to the U.S. patterns.

The pattern for the French is very similar to that of the British; low segregation from the Western European groups, medium segregation from the Central and Eastern European groups, and high segregation from the Visible Minority groups. Their own size seems to make no difference for the French, as the patterns are similar in all three cities. Given the cultural affinity of Western European groups to the British, it is not surprising that their segregation patterns are also similar as far as other ethnic groups are concerned. Central and Eastern European groups and Italians are moderately segregated from the charter groups of British and French and somewhat more segregated from the Jews and Visible Minorities. The Jewish population is the most segregated ethnic group in Canada. They show high segregation from all the other groups irrespective of their origin. Their ISs from the other groups are in the range of .7 to .8 both in Montreal and Toronto. It is interesting to note that their segregation from the Visible Minorities is the same as it is from the British or French. They do not fall in the social distance scale. As observed earlier the ISs are lower in Vancouver. The ID between Jews and other ethnic groups are only in the range of .4 to .5.

Among the Visible Minorities, a significant finding is that the ISs are relatively high. One would have expected that, given their shared experiences of relative deprivation, discrimination, and prejudice, perceived or otherwise, the segregation among themselves would be low. In other words, we would expect ethnic groups such as the Chinese, South Asians, and Blacks to reside in the same areas of the city. Though slightly lower than from the European groups, the ISs among the Visible Minority groups are still high, around .5. The ID between South Asians and Chinese is .515 in Montreal, .514 in Toronto, and .581 in Vancouver. The indices between South Asians and Black groups are also in the same range except in Toronto, where the ID between South Asians and Africans is only .381, and between South Asians and Caribbeans, .294. The indices between the Chinese and Black groups also hover around .5. This would mean that while the Visible Minority groups are more concentrated, they do not necessarily live in the same neighbourhoods, but rather have their own favoured locations within the cities. The cultural differences among the Visible Minorities are probably significant enough not to ma*ke physical proximity particularly advantageous, in spite of their similar social distance from the European groups. However, though not living in the same CTs, they are often found in nearby tracts.


In the early ecological models of urban growth, ethnic residential segregation is seen as a transitory stage dependent on the nature and time of arrival of immigrants to gateway cities (Burgess 1925). Lacking economic and human resources, new immigrants often have to settle in poorer areas of a city, usually in urban cores. As their social mobility and acculturation to the host society increase, they move to other areas of the city. Thus one would expect that desegregation would accompany increased duration. Residential segregation among the earlier immigrants should be less than the recent arrivals. By the same logic one would expect the native born to be more assimilated than the foreign born, and hence more spatially dispersed. There have been very few studies on residential segregation by generational status in Canada. In a study done using the census data for Toronto in 1961, Darroch and Marston (1969) showed that levels of segregation tended to be higher for the foreign born as a whole than for the native born, and higher for recent immigrants than for those who had been in Canada for longer periods of time. They did not, however, analyse the data by immigrant status separately for the various ethnic groups. A more extensive study based on special tabulations from the 1971 census for Toronto was made by Kalbach (1990), who calculated IDs for selected ethnic-origin groups, 15 years and older, by generation and by period of immigration for the foreign born. Kalbach's findings were mixed. For the British and Western European groups, residential segregation diminished for successive generations, while for the others they did not. For some Visible Minority groups such as the Chinese and West Indians, the degree of segregation tended to be higher for subsequent generations vis-a-vis the first generation. Though Kalbach' s categories do not exactly match ours, we will refer to his findings, where appropriate, because of their direct relevance to our own study.

The percentage of the population 15 years and older by generation status for the selected ethnic groups is shown in Table 7. First generation refers to foreign born, 2nd generation refers to those who were born in Canada with foreign-born parents, 2.5 generation to those born in Canada with one parent foreign born, and 3rd generation to those with both parents born in Canada. For the British and French Charter groups, 3rd or 3rd+ generations predominate. The foreign-born component for these groups is quite small; 10.2% for British and only 4.1% for the French. Other Western European origin groups also show a small foreign-born proportion of 17.4%, with slightly more than half reporting both parents native born. Central and Eastern European groups, being more recent arrivals to Canada, show a greater proportion foreign born; about a third. The case is the same among the Jewish group. Though Italians immigrated in large numbers soon after the Second World War, their numbers have decreased significantly in the last two decades. The proportions of foreign born among the Italians have been going down, and correspondingly the proportions in later generations have been increasing. The effect of recency in immigration is dramatic in the case of the Visible Minority groups. In the case of South Asians and the Chinese, the proportion of foreign born among those 15 and older is very high, about 85%. Those who have one or both parents born in Canada are only of the order of 2% to 3%. Since the Black migration to Canada somewhat predates the Asian influx, the proportion of foreign born among them is lower. Still about three-fourths of persons of African or Caribbean origins, 15 years or older, are immigrants.

Segregation indices by generation are presented in Table 8. These are calculated for persons 15 years or older. As 2nd generation, native-born children below the age of 15 are likely to be living with their 1st generation parents, it makes sense to exclude them for the calculation of 2nd generation IDs. Even some young adults in the age group 15-24 may be living with their parents, a problem which cannot be completely eliminated from our data. Because of small numbers for the groups of maximum interest to us, namely the Visible Minorities, we have grouped the 2+ generations into one category. In other words, the two categories are native born and foreign born, 15 years or older. The classic assimilation pattern, where the successive generations show less residential segregation, is found only among the European groups, whose segregation is generally low. For the British in Montreal, the IS decreased from .526 for the 1st generation to .297 for later generations. The IS for native-born French is very low at. 184. First generation French form only a very small proportion, and their index is only slightly higher at .318. Other West Europeans, Central and Eastern Europeans, and Italians all show a decline with successive generations. The patterns in Toronto and Vancouver are basically the same, except that the indices in these cities are lower than in Montreal. Since ISs around .200 are already low and do not go much lower, one cannot expect further significant declines in the future.

For the Visible Minorities, change in ISs by generation provide little support for the assimilation hypothesis. Subsequent generations show as much segregation as the 1st generation of foreign born. For example, in Montreal, the IS for South Asians was .645 for the 1st generation and .693 for 2nd and later generations. Similarly a small increase in residential segregation can be noticed for the Chinese, from .558 for the 1st generation to .620 for subsequent generations. For the Blacks, as well, the differences between generations are small. Africans show a slight increase, while the Caribbeans demonstrate a small decline. In the two other cities of Toronto and Vancouver, there does seem to be a decline in segregation for the South Asians and Chinese. These ethnic groups are larger in size in these two cities, and one does not know whether this size has any influence on their lower segregation. In any case, it is probably too early to say whether this decline will persist in the future. The finding of persisting segregation among many minority groups has been noted earlier in Kalbach's studies of Toronto (Kalbach 1990). The most segregated group are those of Jewish origin, who show little change over the generations. In Montreal, their IS for the 1st generation was .781, and for the later generations, .773. Similarly in Toronto, the indices were .705 and .686. Jews have migrated earlier than the Asian and Black groups and belong to the higher socio-economic class, hence they have greater resources to make residential choices. Yet they are the most concentrated group, indicating the powerful influence of cultural factors in residential location.


In the last two decades Canada has witnessed not only high rates of immigration but also a substantial change in the ethnic composition of migrants. This has been a consequence of a liberalization of immigration laws in terms of discriminatory clauses and of policy directions taken in light of below-replacement fertility rates, an aging population, and labour force needs. More than half the immigrants now are Visible Minorities, mainly from Asian countries. Canada has never been more ethnically diverse than at present. The spatial aspect of this ethnic diversity, especially in the three largest metropolitan areas of Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, was the focus of this study. Recent immigrants are much more selective in their choices of destination than the earlier European immigrants: About three-fourths of the immigrants in the last decade went to the three largest cities of Canada. Visible Minorities now form 38.7% of the population in Toronto and Vancouver and 13.9% in Montreal. It is expected that Toronto, at least, will reach a situation where half the population will be Visible Minorities in a few decades. It is not surprising that Toronto and Vancouver attract many South Asians and Chinese as they already have large numbers of these ethnic groups. At the same time, there is some evidence that these ethnic groups are increasing in numbers in Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa. One should expect some increase in new immigrants going to these areas in the future.

The other factor is the effect of internal migration on the redistribution of minority groups. About 1 in 5 Canadians change their residence in a year. Though most of them move within the same municipality, a sizeable number move between metropolitan areas and between provinces. If the internal migration rates are not selective in terms of ethnicity, one would expect a greater geographic dispersion with time. Research on internal migration of ethnic groups, especially newer immigrants, is limited at this stage, but should be an area of considerable policy interest. One may also hypothesise that the 2nd generation, born and educated in Canada, may migrate from the areas where they grew up as they enter the labour market and enter other stages in their life cycle. Their attachment to a local ethnic enclave or community may be weaker than in their parents' case. This theory requires empirical testing.

Within the three metropolitan areas, the rank order of the concentration of the selected ethnic origin groups has remained basically the same when compared to studies done for earlier periods. British, French, and Western European groups are least concentrated, other European groups somewhat more concentrated, and the Visible Minority groups most concentrated. As ISs are highly correlated with concentration indices, it is not surprising that they exhibit the same trends. British, French, and other Western European groups are least segregated, Central and Eastern Europeans and Italians are moderately segregated, while the Visible Minorities of Chinese, South Asians, and Blacks are most segregated. The persistence of this pattern of the relationship of segregation to social prestige of the ethnic groups is an important observation of considerable social significance. Is it due to differences in social class, social distance, or cultural cohesion? Because of their interrelationship, it not possible to differentiate the effects of all causal factors in segregation, but some general observations can be made. Long established groups of European origins in the higher socio-economic class seem to be least segregated. Here again, Jews are an exception. They have the highest segregation rates, which is clearly the powerful influence of cultural factors in their desire to live in close proximity to each other. One cannot also make generalizations across societies easily. For example, Asian groups enjoy a greater social status than Blacks in the U.S., and this clearly shows in the concentration and segregation indices there. Blacks in America continue to have very high ISs, around .8 to .9 in most U.S. cities, more than double that of the Asian groups, a situation quite different from that in Canada. Massey and Denton emphasise this Black-Asian difference, commenting that it is the black race in particular, rather than race per se, that is important in residential segregation in the America (Massey and Denton 1987). Black migration to American cities and settlement patterns within them reveal a long history of discrimination in housing. Slavery and its consequences were instrumental in black settlement in the central core of cities in the northern U.S., and subsequent movements within cities were dominated by the racial factor. These factors are largely irrelevant to Canadian urban growth.

The concentration of minority groups does not mean that there is only one ethnic group cluster in a city. Maps of the proportion of an ethnic population in the CTs show multiple clusters in the three cities. For example, the Chinese in Toronto are not only concentrated in the downtown area in Chinatown but also found in large clusters in Scarborough and to the west, in the Brampton area. Similarly, different clusters can be identified among the other Visible Minorities such as the South Asians and Blacks. They are found not only in city cores but also in the suburban areas. Moreover the areas often do not overlap, indicating differences in their residential preferences. One is tempted to conclude that voluntary causes probably outweigh the involuntary causes in the Canadian case.

There is strong support for the social distance hypothesis: British, French, and Western European groups are least segregated from each other, more segregated from other groups, and most segregated from the Visible Minority groups. Central and Eastern European groups are moderately segregated from the British and French and more segregated from the Visible Minority groups. A rather surprising finding is that the Visible Minorities are not only highly segregated from the white ethnic groups, but they are also highly segregated among themselves. Some of this segregation is due to social class differences between the Visible Minorities and the European groups. One needs to control for social class differences and then look at segregation among ethnic groups, which can then be attributed to other causes. At this time we are not able to do this owing to a lack of socioeconomic data by ethnicity at the small area level. But past studies have abundantly shown that substantial segregation exists between the Visible Minorities and European groups even after controlling for social class (Darroch and Marston 1971: Balakrishnan 1976, 1982; Balakrishnan and Kralt 1987).

The fact that certain ethnic groups are highly concentrated and segregated from other ethnic groups needs further investigation. Is high concentration a characteristic of poor neighbourhoods? This is clearly the case of Blacks in many U.S. cities, but it is less evident in Canadian cities. Jewish neighbourhoods are not poor, nor are some Chinese neighbourhoods in Scarborough. At the same time there are many poor neighbourhoods showing high concentrations of Blacks, Portuguese, Vietnamese, etc. The crucial policy question is whether the concentration of an ethnic group can lead to neighbourhood poverty? American studies have shown that as the concentration of Blacks increases in an area, the overall socioeconomic status of the area goes down (Massey and Denton 1993). In Canada, Kazemipur and Halli report that some studies have suggested that as the Aboriginal population of a neighbourhood increases, the real estate prices fall, and so does the desirability of the neighbourhood. Some real estate agents may direct Natives to certain neighbourhoods and not to others. This can lead to high concentrations of Natives in a small number of neighbourhoods in many Canadian cities (Kazemipur and Halli 2000). Whether such discriminatory practices have affected the concentration of other Visible Minority groups such as the Chinese, South Asians, or Blacks is not known, but should be explored.

It is possible that a great deal of the concentration and segregation of many minority groups in Canada is due to voluntary causes rather than class differences or social distance. A certain threshold population size may enable a minority group to establish an ethnic neighbourhood with many advantages. Specialized social institutions such as an ethnic community club, ethnic food stores and restaurants, entertainment venues, and religious institutions such as an ethnic church or temple, synagogue, etc., become viable in an ethnic enclave. Canada's multiculturalism policy supports such social institutions and encourages citizens to maintain their cultural heritage. Policy oriented research should examine whether ethnic enclaves enable their inhabitants to develop and enjoy a culturally and socially rich life rather than degenerate into a ghetto with all the attendant negative images of poverty and crime. One way of looking at this is to compare members of an ethnic group who live inside or outside of an ethnic enclave.

It has been argued that residential segregation of a minority group will decrease with subsequent generations. Those who are born and raised in Canada will adopt the lifestyle and customs of the wider society, having gone through the educational system in Canada and probably lost most of their heritage language facility. They are likely to have greater social networks outside their ethnic community and greater chances for social mobility. The advantages of living in an ethnic neighbourhood may be less attractive to them. They are also more likely to intermarry and develop multiple ethnic loyalties. We find decreasing segregation for the older European groups, as expected, but not so for the Visible Minority groups. Because of small numbers, we are not able to go beyond the 2nd generation, but we find little difference between the 1st and 2nd generations. Why segregation persists in the later generation is worth investigation. We need survey data on attitudes and behaviour to get to the core of this issue. The strong bond between generations regarding expectations and obligations varies among the ethnic groups. Similarly if the social distance persists even in later generations and not only in the 1st, it can explain the continuing segregation levels in the 2nd generation.

Another important policy concern is whether residential segregation is a reflection of occupational segregation. New immigrant groups may often be concentrated in certain occupations such as construction, manufacturing, garment making, etc. This may be due to their limited skills on arrival, official language facility, etc. It is expected that they will be able to move into other occupations with time. In a study done in Toronto in 1977, Reitz found that this was indeed so for the 2nd generation of immigrants, though the extent of assimilation in the occupational structure varied for the different ethnic groups (Reitz 1990). Balakrishnan and Hou compared census data for the 1981, 1986, and 1991 years and found that, while residential segregation remained about the same during the decade of 1981-1991 for almost all the ethnic groups, occupational segregation decreased significantly (Balakrishnan and Hou 1999b). This would imply that residential segregation has not adversely affected the socio-economic integration of ethnic groups in Canadian society. Our findings for 2001 show that residential segregation continues at about the same level as in 1991. This was also a period of high immigration, but many immigrants now come to Canada with higher education and job skills than earlier arrivals. With increased economic assimilation, one would expect residential segregation to decline. This has not happened to date in the case of the Visible Minority groups to any significant degree. However with longer stays in Canada and increased social mobility, it is possible that residential segregation will decrease among minority groups, though some level of segregation will remain, if only because of discrimination and prejudice and the desire for some ethnic groups to live in proximity.

The future of ethnic residential segregation is hard to predict. The high level of segregation among some ethnic groups such as the Visible Minorities has been sustained by many factors, such as their size and recency of immigration, lack of official language facility, and cultural differences. It may also have been influenced by discrimination and prejudice, actual or perceived, experienced by them in their interaction with the largely white host society.

With time the impact of these factors on residential location should decrease. Intermarriage between white European groups and the Visible Minority groups will be a powerful factor in reducing segregation. There is evidence that there is a greater acceptance of ethnically diverse groups by the host society, especially among young people. Though the Canadian government's multiculturalism policies may help preserve ethnic identity, over time there is bound to be an erosion of the cultural heritage of many groups. As we try to understand the dynamics of ethnic diversity in Canada, it is clear that their spatial dimension is an integral part of the overall picture.

Table 1 
Selected Visible Minority Groups by Immigration Status--2001 
                      Chinese   South    Blacks   Filipino      All 
                                Asian                         Visible
Canadian Born          24.5      28.9     45.0      25.7        29.7 
Foreign Born           73.3      69.0     52.0      72.3        67.2 
Immigrated Pre-1961     1.6       0.3      0.7       0.1         0.7 
  Between 1961-1970     3.5       3.6      5.5       2.9         3.6 
          1971-1980    11.5      13.4     12.5      13.9        12.1 
          1981-1990    17.7      15.0     12.2      17.0        17.1 
          1991-2001    38.9      36.7     21.1      38.4        33.7 
  Residents             2.2       2.1      3.0       2.1         3.1 
Total                   100       100      100       100         100 
Percentage Increase 
  in Immigration 
  1981-1990 & 
  1991-2001           120.4     144.2     73.3     125.4        97.9 
Number               1029395   917075    662210   308575      3983845
Table 2 
Percentage of Population by Selected Ethnic Groups in Montreal, 
Toronto, and Vancouver, 1996 and 2001 
                            Montreal        Toronto         Vancouver
Origins                   1996    2001    1996    2001    1996    2001 
Canadian                 38.37   57.07   16.67   18.63   17.01   19.31 
British                  10.96    9.34   31.86   27.40   41.16   36.83 
French                   34.77   20.55    5.56    4.46    7.2     6.24 
German                    1.83    1.59    5.27    4.74   10.21    9.53 
Dutch                     0.36    0.33    2.00    1.85    3.58    3.42 
Polish                    1.15    1.14    3.78    3.59    2.73    2.61 
Ukrainian                 0.60    0.59    2.24    2.25    4.00    3.89 
Italian                   6.64    6.65    9.72    9.25    3.51    3.51 
Portuguese                1.18    1.21    3.79    3.69    0.86    0.85 
Jewish                    2.70    2.38    3.67    3.47    1.21    1.12 
South Asian               1.45    1.79    8.43   10.84    6.84    8.30 
Chinese                   1.54    1.73    8.43    9.35   15.77   17.63 
African                   0.81    2.72    2.32    2.97    0.73    0.97 
Caribbean                 3.03    3.00    5.72    6.05    0.55    0.55 
Aboriginal                1.33    1.46    0.93    0.96    2.58    2.66 
All Visible Minorities   12.21   13.86   31.61   38.67   31.13   38.71 
Based on total responses (those who gave single or multiple) 
Table 3 
Percentage of Census Tracts in which 50 Percent and 90 Percent of 
Ethnic Populations are Concentrated--2001 
Ethnic Group       Montreal   Toronto   Vancouver 
British              19.7      25.40      29.3 
French               29.8      25.30      28.5 
Western Europe       21.0      24.50      29.3 
Central and 
  Eastern Europe     17.8      26.00      32.4 
Italian              12.3      13.6       23.1 
Jewish                2.4       3.8       14.3 
South Asian           4.6      13.7       10.4 
Chinese               9.1      10.2       10.6 
African              14.15     15.9       22.5 
Caribbean            11.5      17.4       20.2 
Number of Tracts     846        924        386 
Ethnic Group       Montreal   Toronto   Vancouver 
British              71.4      70.0       73.3 
French               74.7      68.7       72.8 
Western Europe       68.1      68.7       73.6 
Central and 
  Eastern Europe     60.4      72.4       76.7 
Italian              55.9      60.6       68.7 
Jewish               13.6      26.2       51.0 
South Asian          27.2      50.1       50.0 
Chinese              42.4      50.6       50.3 
African              50.2      57.4       63.0 
Caribbean            44.7      57.5       57.5 
Number of Tracts     846        924        386 
Table 4 
Gini Indices of Concentration by Ethnic Group for Montreal, Toronto, 
and Vancouver, 1986--2001 
Origin                 1986    1991    1996    2001 
British               0.533   0.538   0.650   0.442 
French                0.365   0.405   0.404   0.304 
Western Europe                                0.421 
Central & E. Europe                           0.502 
Italian               0.715   0.688   0.691   0.580 
Jewish                0.922   0.924   0.927   0.895 
South Asian           0.804   0.834   0.803   0.809 
Chinese               0.770   0.731   0.704   0.675 
Black                 0.715   0.703   0.624 
African                                       0.587 
Caribbean                                     0.646 
Origin                 1986    1991    1996    2001 
British               0.287   0.323   0.357   0.375 
French                0.341   0.387   0.433   0.380 
Western Europe                                0.388 
Central & E. Europe                           0.360 
Italian               0.639   0.627   0.625   0.550 
Jewish                0.861   0.880   0.887   0.814 
South Asian           0.650   0.630   0.623   0.593 
Chinese               0.672   0.668   0.676   0.635 
Black                 0.632   0.624   0.581 
African                                       0.541 
Caribbean                                     0.518 
Origin                 1986    1991    1996    2001 
British               0.255   0.262   0.299   0.315 
French                0.357   0.356   0.400   0.330 
Western Europe                                0.319 
Central & E. Europe                           0.264 
Italian               0.610   0.579   0.547   0.411 
Jewish                0.732   0.740   0.725   0.586 
South Asian           0.585   0.634   0.653   0.629 
Chinese               0.654   0.608   0.564   0.569 
Black                 0.637   0.618   0.488 
African                                       0.444 
Caribbean                                     0.494 
1986-1996 are based on single responses only 
2001 are based on total responses 
Table 5 
Segregation Indices for Selected Ethnic Groups in Montreal, Toronto, 
and Vancouver, 1996-2001 
Ethnic                 Montreal        Toronto         Vancouver 
Group                1996    2001    1996    2001    1996    2001 
British             0.422   0.316   0.298   0.364   0.221   0.290 
French              0.213   0.184   0.238   0.272   0.167   0.206 
Other Western 
  Europeans                 0.282           0.292           0.216 
Central & Eastern 
  Europeans                 0.409           0.303           0.142 
Italians            0.437   0.432   0.396   0.402   0.237   0.257 
Jewish              0.793   0.777   0.703   0.696   0.437   0.427 
South Asian         0.632   0.636   0.432   0.440   0.489   0.517 
Chinese             0.542   0.520   0.524   0.509   0.493   0.494 
Black               0.470           0.388           0.311 
African                     0.426           0.360           0.293 
Caribbean                   0.464           0.356           0.325 
Based on total responses (single and multiple) 
Table 6 
Indices of Dissimlarity between the Ethnic Groups, 
Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, 2001 
                             British    French     W. Eur.   Central & 
                                                              E. Eur.
British                           -        0.300     0.180       0.395 
French                                        -      0.287       0.448 
Western European                                        -        0.373 
Central & Eastern European                                          -
South Asian 
British                           -        0.118     0.099       0.349 
French                                        -      0.144       0.345 
Western European                                        -        0.341 
Central & Eastern European                                          -
South Asian 
British                           -        0.113     0.087       0.140 
French                                        -      0.119       0.143 
Western European                                        -        0.155 
Central & Eastern European                                          -
South Asian 
                             Italian    Jewish      South     Chinese
British                        0.479       0.728     0.629       0.524 
French                         0.474       0.800     0.694       0.579 
Western European               0.484       0.695     0.620       0.518 
Central & Eastern European     0.289       0.608     0.561       0.467 
Italian                           -        0.810     0.673       0.562 
Jewish                                        -      0.718       0.718 
South Asian                                             -        0.515 
Chinese                                                             -
British                        0.466       0.695     0.563       0.593 
French                         0.464       0.700     0.546       0.586 
Western European               0.462       0.686     0.570       0.591 
Central & Eastern European     0.273       0.621     0.512       0.542 
Italian                           -        0.741     0.560       0.626 
Jewish                                        -      0.821       0.713 
South Asian                                             -        0.514 
Chinese                                                             -
British                        0.265       0.431     0.570       0.551 
French                         0.266       0.441     0.561       0.556 
Western European               0.272       0.464     0.548       0.561 
Central & Eastern European     0.207       0.420     0.537       0.458 
Italian                           -        0.505     0.582       0.473 
Jewish                                        -      0.698       0.500 
South Asian                                             -        0.581 
Chinese                                                             -
                             African   Caribbean 
British                        0.489       0.543 
French                         0.509       0.537 
Western European               0.474       0.539 
Central & Eastern European     0.347       0.411 
Italian                        0.473       0.417 
Jewish                         0.692       0.794 
South Asian                    0.474       0.579 
Chinese                        0.422       0.533 
African                           -        0.385 
Caribbean                                     - 
British                        0.510       0.495 
French                         0.492       0.471 
Western European               0.522       0.510 
Central & Eastern European     0.446       0.449 
Italian                        0.520       0.500 
Jewish                         0.752       0.793 
South Asian                    0.381       0.294 
Chinese                        0.530       0.535 
African                           -        0.277 
Caribbean                                     - 
British                        0.350       0.359 
French                         0.337       0.337 
Western European               0.349       0.358 
Central & Eastern European     0.297       0.325 
Italian                        0.380       0.417 
Jewish                         0.493       0.518 
South Asian                    0.521       0.549 
Chinese                        0.485       0.527 
African                            -       0.373 
Caribbean                                      - 
Table 7 
Percentage of Population 15 Years and Over 
by Generation for Selected Ethnic Groups 
                                Generation Status 
Ethnic Status            1st      2nd       2.5      3rd 
British                  10.2      6.6     13.5      69.6 
French                    4.1      1.4      6.2      88.3 
Western Europe           17.4     13.2     13.6      55.8 
Central & E. Europe      36.1     20.2     11.0      32.7 
Italian                  37.1     29.3     11.1      22.6 
Jewish                   36.6     19.4     14.2      29.7 
South Asian              85.3     12.1      1.2       1.2 
Chinese                  85.4     10.7      1.7       2.0 
African                  77.6      8.9      4.5       9.2 
Caribbean                72.3     17.7      4.9       4.8 
Table 8 
Segregation Indices by Generation for Selected Ethnic Groups, 
Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, 2001 
Generation    British    French    Other W.    Central &   Italian 
                                   Europeans   E. Ear. 
1st           0.526      0.318     0.406       0.424       0.537 
2nd+          0.297      0.184     0.268       0.357       0.372 
1st           0.237      0.325     0.257       0.307       0.478 
2nd+          0.333      0.274     0.274       0.242       0.343 
1st           0.245      0.326     0.199       0.200       0.379 
2nd+          0.238      0.206     0.203       0.158       0.244 
              Jewish     South     Chinese     African     Caribbean 
Montreal                 Asian 
2nd+          0.781      0.645     0.558       0.448       0.486 
              0.773      0.693     0.620       0.499       0.440 
2nd+          0.705      0.430     0.522       0.369       0.359 
              0.686      0.371     0.407       0.381       0.318 
2nd+          0.503      0.505     0.483       0.351       0.374 
              0.449      0.422     0.383       0.435       0.466 


This paper is the outgrowth of work done for the Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada, and we are grateful for their funding of this project. We would also like to thank Lorna Jantzen, Nisa Mairi Tummon and Dhiru Patel, all of the Department of Canadian Heritage, for their valuable input.


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T. R. Balakrishnan is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario. His research areas are ethnic relations, immigration, urban spatial patterns, and family. He has published several articles and books, the most recent being Family and Childbearing in Canada (Toronto 1993). He is a past president of the Canadian Population Society.

Stephen Gyimah is an assistant professor of Sociology at Queen's University. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Western Ontario specializing in social demography. His areas of interest include race and ethnic relations.

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