Micro-simulation of Canadian population future diversity
Alain P. Belanger, Statistics Canada
Canada’s population is increasingly diverse in terms of ethnicity, religion and languages. Differential in demographic behaviours and settlement patterns of the newcomers tend to speed up the process of change. This paper is an attempt to chart some of these future transformations in terms of visible minority group membership, religious denomination, mother tongue and regional distribution under several scenarios using a micro-simulation model (Popsim) specifically designed to project changes in population composition taking into account differentials in fertility, mortality, internal and international migrations, marital status and intergenerational transfers. Model parameters are estimated from several data sources including censuses, surveys and administrative data, using logistic regressions or proportional hazard modelling. Preliminary results show that according to the different scenarios projected, the proportion of foreign born could reach between 21% and 26% of the Canadian population by 2017 (18% in 2001) and can represent a majority in Toronto and Vancouver.