Unveiling the Strength of Canada’s Indigenous Communities: 2016 Statistics Canada Insights

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2016 statistics canada indigenous population


In 2016, Statistics Canada reported that Indigenous people in Canada faced significant challenges. From housing to income, education to employment, the numbers paint a stark picture of the disparities that persist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

Pain Points:

  • In 2016, the median income of Indigenous people was just 43% of the median income of non-Indigenous people.
  • Indigenous people were also more likely to live in poverty, with 21% living below the poverty line, compared to 9% of non-Indigenous people.
  • Indigenous people were also more likely to experience food insecurity, with 28% of households struggling to put food on the table, compared to 10% of non-Indigenous households.


Statistics Canada’s 2016 report on the Indigenous population highlights the need for urgent action to address the disparities faced by Indigenous people in Canada. The report’s findings should be used to inform policy and program development aimed at improving the lives of Indigenous people and their communities.

Main Points:

  • In 2016, there were 1.67 million Indigenous people living in Canada, representing 4.9% of the total population.
  • The Indigenous population is the fastest-growing population group in Canada, with a growth rate of 2.1% per year, compared to 1.0% for the non-Indigenous population.
  • Indigenous people are more likely to live in rural areas, with 43% living in rural areas, compared to 16% of non-Indigenous people.
  • Indigenous people are also more likely to be young, with a median age of 30.8 years, compared to 40.5 years for non-Indigenous people.

2016 Statistics Canada Indigenous Population: Unveiling the Current Status and Its Implications

Unveiling the Current Indigenous Population Landscape in Canada

The Indigenous population in Canada holds a significant place in the nation’s cultural fabric, history, and contemporary landscape. Understanding their current status through comprehensive statistics from Canada’s 2016 census offers valuable insights into their demographics, challenges, and areas for improvement. This article delves into the key findings from the 2016 Statistics Canada Indigenous population data, exploring the implications and ongoing efforts to address disparities and foster inclusivity.

Indigenous Canada Statistics 2016

Population Size and Distribution

  • In 2016, the Indigenous population in Canada was recorded as 1,673,785, representing approximately 4.9% of the total population.
  • The majority of Indigenous people (62.1%) resided in urban areas, with the remaining 37.9% living in rural and northern communities.
  • Ontario and British Columbia had the largest Indigenous populations among the provinces, with 28.9% and 18.2%, respectively.

Age Distribution and Education Attainment

  • The Indigenous population was relatively young, with a median age of 27.9 years compared to 40.7 years for the non-Indigenous population.
  • The educational attainment levels among Indigenous people were lower than the national average, with a higher proportion of individuals aged 25 to 64 having a high school diploma or less (43.5%) compared to the non-Indigenous population (29.6%).

Indigenous Canada Age Distribution 2016

Employment and Economic Well-being

  • The Indigenous employment rate was lower than the national average, with 61.4% of Indigenous people aged 15 and older being employed, compared to 78.9% of the non-Indigenous population.
  • The Indigenous unemployment rate was significantly higher, at 11.6% compared to 6.5% for the non-Indigenous population.
  • Indigenous people were more likely to live in poverty, with 21.9% living in low-income households compared to 12.3% of the non-Indigenous population.

Health and Well-being

  • Indigenous peoples experienced poorer health outcomes than the non-Indigenous population, with higher rates of chronic diseases, infectious diseases, and mental health issues.
  • Life expectancy for Indigenous people was lower than the national average, with a gap of approximately 10 years between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Language and Cultural Preservation

  • The 2016 census revealed a resurgence of Indigenous languages, with more than 200,000 Indigenous people reporting an Indigenous language as their mother tongue.
  • However, many Indigenous languages face challenges due to historical policies and assimilation pressures, emphasizing the need for ongoing revitalization efforts.

Indigenous Canada Language Preservation 2016

Addressing Disparities and Promoting Inclusion: The Path Forward

The 2016 Statistics Canada Indigenous population data highlights the ongoing challenges faced by Indigenous communities in Canada. These disparities demand comprehensive and collaborative efforts from governments, Indigenous leaders, and society as a whole to address the root causes and promote inclusivity.

  • Addressing Socioeconomic Disparities: Implementing targeted policies and programs aimed at improving education, employment, and housing opportunities for Indigenous people is crucial. Investing in Indigenous-led initiatives that foster economic development and entrepreneurship can also contribute to bridging the economic gap.

  • Enhancing Healthcare and Well-being: Expanding access to culturally appropriate healthcare services and mental health support is essential for addressing the health disparities faced by Indigenous communities. Additionally, promoting healthy lifestyles and addressing the social determinants of health can contribute to improving overall well-being.

  • Promoting Indigenous Languages and Culture: Supporting the revitalization of Indigenous languages and cultural practices is vital for preserving and celebrating Indigenous heritage. This includes investing in language education, promoting Indigenous arts and media, and creating opportunities for Indigenous cultural expression.

  • Fostering Reconciliation and Understanding: Encouraging dialogue and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can help bridge gaps and build relationships based on respect and recognition of Indigenous rights. Initiatives such as truth and reconciliation commissions and educational programs can contribute to fostering a more inclusive society.

Conclusion: Embracing Indigenous Resilience and Moving Forward Together

The 2016 Statistics Canada Indigenous population data provides a snapshot of the current status of Indigenous communities in Canada, highlighting both challenges and areas for progress. Addressing the disparities and promoting inclusivity requires a collective effort to create a more equitable and harmonious society. By embracing Indigenous resilience, recognizing their contributions, and working together, Canada can move forward on a path of reconciliation and shared prosperity.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the significance of the 2016 Statistics Canada Indigenous population data?

The 2016 Statistics Canada Indigenous population data provides valuable insights into the current demographic, socioeconomic, and health status of Indigenous people in Canada. This data serves as a baseline for assessing progress and identifying areas where targeted efforts are needed to address disparities and promote inclusivity.

2. What are some of the challenges faced by Indigenous communities in Canada?

Indigenous communities face a range of challenges, including socioeconomic disparities, lower education and employment rates, poorer health outcomes, and the ongoing effects of historical policies and assimilation pressures. These challenges require comprehensive and collaborative efforts to address their root causes and create a more equitable society.

3. What are some of the initiatives aimed at addressing disparities and promoting inclusion?

Efforts to address disparities and promote inclusion for Indigenous communities include targeted policies and programs for education, employment, and housing, as well as investments in Indigenous-led initiatives for economic development and cultural revitalization. Additionally, promoting dialogue and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people is crucial for building relationships based on respect and recognition of Indigenous rights.

4. How can non-Indigenous Canadians contribute to reconciliation and inclusivity?

Non-Indigenous Canadians can contribute to reconciliation and inclusivity by educating themselves about Indigenous history and culture, engaging in dialogue with Indigenous people, and supporting policies and initiatives that promote Indigenous rights and well-being. Additionally, creating opportunities for collaboration and partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities can help foster understanding and build bridges across cultures.

5. What is the role of Indigenous communities in shaping their own future?

Indigenous communities play a vital role in shaping their own future by asserting their rights, determining their own priorities, and developing solutions that address their unique challenges and aspirations. Indigenous leaders, organizations, and communities are actively engaged in advocating for change, revitalizing their languages and cultures, and working towards self-determination and empowerment.

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