Census 2021: Canadians are talking about race. But the census hasn’t caught up


This May, Canadians will again be asked if they identify as a member of a set list of minority groups when filling out the long-form census. That data is used to measure the portion of Canada’s population that are designated as visible minorities, a concept and term increasingly out of step with the times.

The pandemic has laid bare racial inequalities, and racial justice activist groups, like Black Lives Matter, have put anti-Black racism high on the public agenda. Systemic racism, rather than visible minority status, is at the centre of debate. While Canadians are now talking more explicitly about race, the census has yet to catch up.

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