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Highlights from Statistics Canada's 2011 National Household Survey

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OTTAWA - Statistics Canada released the first tranche of results Wednesday from the 2011 voluntary National Household Survey, which replaced the cancelled mandatory long-form census. Some highlights:

— Canada was home to an estimated 6,775,800 immigrants in 2011, comprising 20.6 per cent of the population — more than ever before and the highest proportion of all G8 countries.

— Canada's aboriginal population grew by 20.1 per cent — 232,385 people — between 2006 and 2011, compared with 5.2 per cent for non-aboriginal people.

— Almost half (48.1 per cent) of all children aged 14 and under in foster care in Canada in 2011 were aboriginal children.

— Aboriginal children aged 14 and under made up 28 per cent of Canada's total aboriginal population, while their non-aboriginal counterparts represented 16.5 per cent of all non-aboriginals.

— About 1,162,900 foreign-born people immigrated to Canada between 2006 and 2011, making up 17.2 per cent of the foreign-born population and 3.5 per cent of Canada's total population.

— More than 200 different ethnic origins were reported in the 2011 survey, with 13 of them representing more than a million people each.

— Nearly 6,264,800 people identified themselves as a visible minority, representing 19.1 per cent of the population. 65 per cent of them were born outside Canada.

— South Asians, Chinese and blacks accounted for 61.3 per cent of the visible minority population, followed by Filipinos, Latin Americans, Arabs, Southeast Asians, West Asians, Koreans and Japanese.

— More than 22.1 million people — two-thirds of Canadians — said they were affiliated with a Christian religion, including 12.7 million Roman Catholics, the largest single group.

— 7.8 million people, 23.9 per cent of the population, reported having no religious affiliation.

— Slightly more than one million people, or 3.2 per cent of the population, identified themselves as Muslim, while Hindus represented 1.5 per cent, Sikhs 1.4 per cent, Buddhists 1.1 per cent and Jews one per cent.

— 1,400,685 people identified themselves as aboriginal in 2011, representing 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population. Aboriginal Peoples accounted for 3.8 per cent of the population in 2006, 3.3 per cent in 2001 and 2.8 per cent in 1996.

— Only 17.2 per cent of aboriginals reported being able to conduct a conversation in an aboriginal language, compared with 21 per cent in the 2006 census.

— The survey, which replaced the mandatory long-form census cancelled by the Harper Conservatives in 2010, is filled with warnings that the data may not be as accurate, given the survey's voluntary nature.

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