British Isles Descendants in Canada

The most recent issue of Canada’s History had the following information in a box: St Patrick’s Day in Canada, on page 13.

Number of Canadians, in millions, who identify as descendants of Irish immigrants. They comprise about twelve percent of the population.

4.4 million is from the 2021 Census of Canada at  Statistics Canada. Table 98-10-0338-01  Ethnic or cultural origin by generation status: Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations with parts

Let’s dig further into those census statistics for the British Isles, including Ireland, remaining aware that they are self reported

Of the 4.4 million reporting Irish ancestry 3.8 million were multi-ethnic. The Irish diaspora in Canada is 87% of the population of Ireland.

Scotland has similarities with Ireland. Rounded to two figures Canada’s Scots ethnic ancestry population is also 4.4 million and its diaspora in Canada 80% of the population of Scotland.

Of the 5.3 million Canadians claiming English ancestry 4.2 million are multi-ethnic. The English diaspora were only 9% of the home country population.

By contrast, nearly half a million Canadians claim Welsh ancestry, that’s 15% of the home country population.

The table is a summary of the census results with the hime country population addded.

Canada Population
Home Country Population
Ethnicity Total Ethnic Single Ethic Multiple Ethnic Total
English 5.323 1.134 4.189 56.720
Irish 4.413 0.594 3.819 5.057
Scottish 4.392 0.560 3.833 5.437
Welsh 0.456 0.036 0.420 3.107
Northern Irish 0.025 0.006 0.019 1.903
Manx 0.005 0.000 0.005 0.087
Channel Islander 0.004 0.001 0.004 0.176

In total 10.7 million Canadians and Canadian residents claim British Isles, 10.4 million North American and 7.0 million Asian origins.



4 Replies to “British Isles Descendants in Canada”

  1. Very interesting indeed – I too am multi-ethnic (English and Polish)… My dad and both is brothers married English women, and I know other families with similar mixes. Not unusual I guess, given how many Polish people ended up in England after WWII.

  2. Hi John
    I am 48% Scottish,
    24% English and North Western Europe,
    12% Irish,
    10% Germanic Europe
    2% each Sweden & Denmark, Norwegian and Welsh
    a mutt, Ha Ha

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