The Demographics of Toronto make Toronto one of the multicultural cities in the world. In 2004, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ranked Toronto second, behind Miami, in its "List of World Cities with the Largest Percentage of Foreign-born Population". Though ranking first, Miami's foreign-born population is mostly Hispanic, whereas Toronto's is significantly more diverse. Toronto also ranked ahead of Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York City, Singapore, and Sydney.

Toronto represents a multicultural mosaic. The 2001 Canadian census indicates 42.8% of Toronto's population being of a visible minority. In March 2005, Statistics Canada projected that the visible minority proportion will comprise a majority in Toronto by 2012.

Many majorities claim their origins from Britain, Ireland and Italy. There is a significant population of Portuguese, Jamaicans, Croatians, Chinese, East Indians, Sri Lankans, Latin Americans, Armenians, Romanians, Russians, Filipinos, Iranians, Vietnamese, Somalis, Poles, Germans, French, Guyanese, Macedonians, Pakistanis, Greeks, Serbs, Koreans, West Africans, Arabs, Jews and Trinidadians which exist throughout the city. Areas like Koreatown, Chinatown, Little Jamaica, Little India, Portugal Village and Corso Italia and Little Italy are examples of these large cultural populations.

Christianity is the largest faith group in the city of Toronto, with Roman Catholicism accounting for (33.4%), followed by the Anglican Church (6.9%) and other Christian denominations (Pentecostal, Baptist, Church of God etc.) 5.5% of the city's population adhere to Islam while other faiths such as Hinduism account for 4.1% of the population, Judaism (3.5%) and other communities like Buddhism and Sikhism 4.0% of the population. 16.6% of the population have no religious affiliation.

While English is the predominant language spoken by Torontonians, Statistics Canada reports that other language groups are significant, including Chinese, Portuguese, Tamil, Persian, Spanish, Punjabi and Italian. Canada's other official language, French, is spoken second to English.

Basic information

City of Toronto (2001 census) 2,481,494
Toronto Census Metropolitan Area
(2005 estimate)
5,304,100
Annual Growth Rate %0.8

Population growth studies have projected the City of Toronto's population in 2031 to be 3,000,000 and Metropolitan Toronto's population to be 7,450,000 (source).

Toronto's population grew by 4.0% from 1996 to 2001, with an annual growth rate of 0.8%. As of 2001, 17.5% of the population was 14 years and under, and 13.6% was 65 years and over; the median age was 36.9 years.

 

Multicultural and racial diversity

Toronto is one of the world's most multicultural cities. There is an urban legend among Torontonians that UNESCO has proclaimed the city as the world's most multicultural city, but ranking or proclaiming cities as the most multicultural is not a practice that UNESCO has ever undertaken. (For further information, see Factoid)

In 2004, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ranked Toronto second, behind Miami, Florida, in its list of the world's cities with the largest percentage of foreign-born population. Toronto ranked ahead of other major multicultural cities as Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York City, Singapore and Sydney. Miami ranked first, as its foreign-born population is mostly Hispanic (and to a lesser extent Haitian), whereas Toronto's foreign-born population is significantly more diverse.

Toronto represents a multicultural mosaic. The 2001 Canadian census indicates 42.8% of Toronto's population being of a visible minority; approximately one million non-Whites, or 26% of Canada's minority population, live in Toronto; of this, almost four-fifths originate from Asia alone. Annually, almost half of all immigrants to Canada settle in Toronto. In March 2005, Statistics Canada projected that the visible minority proportion will comprise a majority in both Toronto and Vancouver by 2012.

 

Table of Toronto's ethnic makeup

Ethnic group Population %
Visible minorities * 1,051,125 42.8
* comprised of: Chinese 259,710 10.6
South Asian 253,920 10.3
Black 204,075 8.3
Filipino 86,460 3.5
Hispanic 54,350 2.2
West Asian 37,205 1.5
Southeast Asian 33,870 1.4
Korean 29,755 1.2
Arab 22,355 0.9
Japanese 11,595 0.5
Other minorities 37,985 1.5
White (Non-Hispanic) 1,405,680 57.2
Total 2,456,805 100

The chief ethnicities of the white population of Toronto are 6.5% Canadian (a mixture of English, Scottish, Irish, and French), 5.6% Italian, 3.9% English, 3.1% Portuguese, 2.5% Jewish, and 1.8% Greek

Source: [1]

 

Ethnicity

A majority of Torontonians still claim their ethnic origins as from Britain and Ireland, either in whole or in part. There are significant numbers of Chinese, Indian, Italian, Vietnamese, Tamil, French, German, Black, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, Russian, Scandinavia and Asians in the city, resulting in a unique combination of communities and neighbourhoods that are often strikingly different from one another. Most ethnic groups in the world are represented by communities in Toronto.

 

Religion

Roman Catholicism is the largest faith in the city, accounting for 31.4% in 2001, followed by the Anglican Church (21.1%) and other Christian denominations (8.8%), but the city has well established Muslim (6.7%), Hindu (4.8%), Jewish (4.2%), and other communities (4.0%); 18.8% had no religious affiliation.

 

Language

While English is the predominant language (51.8%) spoken by Torontonians, Statistics Canada reports that other language groups are significant including Chinese and Italian. Only 1.4% of city residents claim French (Canada's other official language) as their mother tongue, and a scant few are bilingual in English and French.

 

Language by Population

(Toronto CMA)

  • Chinese: 355,270
  • Italian: 206,325
  • Portuguese: 113,355
  • Punjabi: 99,600
  • Spanish: 83,245
  • Polish: 79,875
  • Tagalog: 77,220
  • Tamil: 77,060
  • Urdu: 57,635
  • French: 57,485
  • Greek: 50,165
  • Arabic: 46,575
  • German: 43,665
  • Vietnamese: 36,555
  • Ukrainian: 26,675