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Victoria most gender-diverse city in Canada, census says

Victoria is the most gender-diverse urban centre in Canada, with approximately 0.75 per cent of residents identifying as transgender or non-binary, according to newly released census data.

Statistics Canada's 2021 population census included for the first time categories of cisgender, transgender and non-binary, which revealed that approximately 0.33 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older identify as transgender or non-binary – or approximately one in 300 Canadians.

The data released Wednesday show the proportion of transgender and non-binary people is much higher among younger Canadians than older generations.

Approximately 0.79 per cent of Generation Z respondents (born between 1997 and 2006) are transgender and non-binary, compared to 0.51 per cent of Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996), 0.19 per cent of Generation X (born between 1966 and 1980), 0.15 per cent of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1965), and 0.12 per cent of the Greatest Generation (born in 1945 or earlier).

"Over time, the acceptance and understanding of gender and sexual diversity has evolved," says a StatCan summary of the census data.

"Further, there has been social and legislative recognition of transgender, non-binary and LGBTQ2+ people in general. Younger generations may be more comfortable reporting their gender identity than older generations."


The report also found that Victoria has the highest proportion of transgender and non-binary residents aged 15 or older among the country's census metropolitan areas.

Approximately 0.75 per cent of census respondents in the Victoria area identified as transgender or non-binary in the 2021 census, compared to the next highest levels of gender diversity, which were found in Halifax and Fredericton, with 0.66 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively.

"A number of factors could explain the greater gender diversity in these urban centres," StatCan said in the report. "Victoria, Halifax and Fredericton experienced stronger population growth from 2016 to 2021 than the national average. Moreover, in 2021, Halifax (27.6 per cent) and Fredericton (26 per cent) had larger proportions of people aged 15 to 34 than the national average (25 per cent)."

The report noted that the three cities are also "home to several major colleges and universities, and, since students tend to be younger, this could explain the proportionally higher presence of transgender and non-binary people."

The three urban centres with the lowest levels of gender diversity were all found in Quebec, with Drummondville and Saguenay at 0.17 per cent and Trois-Rivières at 0.2 per cent.

"The populations of these urban centres are generally older" than the national average, StatCan noted. Top Stories

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