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One in every 300 Canadians is transgender or non-binary, according to the census

As one of the first countries in the world to collect official census data on gender identity, about one in 300 Canadians said they were transgender or non-binary.

According to Statistics Canada, more than 100,000 people out of approximately 30.5 million Canadians aged 15 and older identified themselves as belonging to the new groups, accounting for 0.33% in that age group. According to the statistics agency, little over 59,000 people identified as transgender, with more than 41,300 identifying as non-binary.

While a number of countries have conducted gender identity surveys, Statistics Canada claims to be the first to collect and publish such information in a national census.

The Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom said that in the 2021 census, it will ask a voluntary question concerning gender identification.

While the data are not “strictly comparable,” the Canadian agency notes that representative survey-based data show that New Zealand and Belgium have adult populations that are roughly 0.5% transgender and non-binary, while crowd-sourced and non-representative surveys show Ireland, England and Wales, and the United States at about 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively.

The following are some of the details in Canada’s new gender statistics:

  • The vast majority of non-binary people (about nine out of ten) live in cities with populations of above 100,000 people.
  • The provinces with the highest number of non-binary and transgender people were Nova Scotia and British Columbia, with nearly one in every 200 people identifying as such in both.
    Non-binary people make up nearly one in every six people in Canada’s census metropolitan areas, accounting for roughly one in every 200 people aged 15 and over.
  • About 62% of the 100,815 transgender or non-binary people surveyed were under the age of 35.
  • StatsCan added a new question on gender to its current census question about sex, specifying “at birth,” in order to “the historical continuity of information on sex was maintained while allowing all cisgender, transgender and non-binary individuals to report their gender,” according to the agency.

These data can be used by public decision makers, employers, and providers of health care, education, justice, and other services to better meet the needs of all men and women—including transgender men and women—and non-binary people in their communities, StatsCan said.

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