Whites already 'visible minorities' in two of Canada's three largest cities, nationally by 2045

In 2010, Statistics Canada published a study on the expected increasing proportion of visible minorities in Canada over the next few decades.  The media picked up the story, but the headlines were misleading, and the projections likely underestimated the rapidly increasing percentage of visible minorities that make up the Canadian population.

The Toronto Star released the following headline and subtitle: "'Visible minority' will mean 'white' by 2031: By 2031, the Toronto region's white population will be the new 'visible minority,' according to a Statistics Canada study."

At the Vancouver Sun, the headline was similar: "Whites to become minority in Metro Vancouver by 2031: Segregated neighbourhoods predicted as balance of population changes."

To its credit, the Star also gave a bit more detail in the heart of the story: "The city [Toronto] and its suburbs are expected to surpass the 50 per cent visible minority mark in 2017."

Of course, by any reasonable definition, this makes the headline incorrect.  Whichever half of the white versus non-white segment constitutes less than 50% of the population is the "visible minority."  What the study should have said is that whites are predicted to be visible minorities by 2017, not 2031.

Well, it happened a little quicker than that.  Based on trends in census data up to 2011 – the latest year available and the year after the study was released – whites are very likely already visible minorities in Toronto and Vancouver, which collectively represent two of Canada's three largest cities and contain one quarter of the national population.

Whites probably became the visible minorities during 2013 in Toronto and 2015 in Vancouver.

In the province of Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton will – if current trends continue – both see whites become visible minorities within the next decade.

At the national level, if trends continue, whites will become visible minorities for the entire country by about 2045, only a few years before the nation is projected to have a Muslim majority.

The results have some clear and immediate policy implications.  In the Toronto and Vancouver census metropolitan areas, non-whites can no longer be considered visible minorities within the public-sector hiring process and when it comes to the law enforcement and criminal justice systems.

Rather, whites must be considered "visible minorities" and should hereafter accrue any advantages that come with this designation.  That, or Canada needs to scrap all visible minority-related policy preferences.  Or perhaps there is a third option: continue with business as usual, pretend that the former visible minorities (i.e., non-whites) are still the visible minorities (which they are no longer), and thereby admit to the public that the preferences aimed at non-whites were simply a convenient anti-white policy that did not have any adherence to principled and objective policymaking.  In other words, it was racism.

Of course, many Canadians see the reality, which is why – consistently over the past few years -- almost 50% of them believe that the nation is taking in too many immigrants, and more than 40% believe that too many visible minorities are being admitted via the immigration system.